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Element Ruthenium, Ru, Transition Metal


Ruthenium was discovered and isolated by Russian scientist Karl Karlovich Klaus from Kazan in 1844 while analyzing plant platinum wastes 15 pounds (=6.14 kg) of which were provided to him by St-Petersburg Mint. Klaus fused it with saltpeter and isolated the water soluble part. The insoluble part was treated by aqua regia (nitrohydrochloric acid). Then separated the part of crude platinum that was insoluble in aqua regia and dried it via sublimation. After distillation it was exposed to boiling water, added potash and traced an unknown element in iron hydroxide residue by crimson color in hydrochloric acid. Klaus suggested naming the isolated sulphide of the new element Ruthenium, which derived from Ruthenia, the Latin word for Rus', Russia.


Ruthenium is a rare traced element. The abundance in Earth's crust is 5x10-10 % by mass. Ruthenium minerals, laurite RuS2, ruthenarsenide RuAs, platarsite (Pt,Rh,Ru)AsS and anduoite (Ru,Os)As2 are very rare. With other platinum components Ruthenium may be found in native platinum, ruthenic nevyanskite (Ir, Os, Ru), ruthenic syssertskite (Os, Ir, Ru), osmium-ruthenium (Os, Ru); as an isomorphic impurity is contained in pentlandite, pyrrhotine, cubanite (chalmersite) and in chalcopyrite in copper-nickel deposits.


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