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A grayish-white metallic element that was discovered in 1844 by Karl Klaus of Russia. Ruthenium is a rare element that has an abundance of only 0.4 ppb in the earth's crust. It is found in Platinum ores and osmiridium. Ruthenium is most often used as a hardener in alloys with platinum, Palladium, Cobalt, Nickel, or Tungsten. These hard alloys are used for jewelry, pen nibs, electrical contacts, and as nonmagnetic instrument pivots.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Ru; ruthénium (Fr.); rutenio (It., Esp.); Rutênio (Port.); Rutenium (Sven.)


Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Attacked by alkalis. Insoluble in acids.

Composition Ru (atomic no. 44)
CAS 7440-18-8
Mohs Hardness 6.5
Melting Point 2310 C
Density 12.41 g/ml
Molecular Weight atomic wt = 101.07
Boiling Point 3900-4110 C

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 683
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 8452; states discovered in 1828 by Osann and prepared in pure form by Klaus in 1845
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Chemical & Engineering News, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, 81 (36) , Sept. 8, 2003 Comment: Robert H. Grubbs, p. 112, states discovered by Karl Karlovich Klaus, a Russian chemist, in 1844

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