Name Ruthenium
Symbol Ru
Atomic Number 44
Atomic Mass 101.07 atomic mass units
Number of Protons 44
Number of Neutrons 57
Number of Electrons 44
Melting Point 2250.0° C
Boiling Point 3900.0° C
Density 12.2 grams per cubic centimeter
Normal Phase Solid
Family Transition Metals
Period 5
Cost $1286 per kilogram



Origin of Name From the Latin word Ruthenia, meaning Russia
Date and Place of Discovery In 1844 in the Ural Mountains in Russia
Discovered by Karl Karlovich Klaus
Common Compounds
Interesting facts
  • It occurs in nature near platinum deposits in the Ural Mountains in Russia and in North and South American.
  • It is also a by-product of the nickel mining in the Sudbury Basin in Ontario, Canada.
  • It has been extracted from used nuclear fuel
  • In 1807 a Polish chemist, Jędrzej Śniadecki, may have isolated ruthenium from platinum ores.  When he couldn't confirm his findings, he withdrew his claim of discovery.
  • Jöns Berzelius and Gottfried Osann may also have discovered ruthenium in 1827. They were examining residues left over from dissolving crude platinum in the Ural Mountains. Berzelius didn't find any unusual metals, but Osann thought he found three new metals and named one of them ruthenium.
Common Uses
  • Electrical contacts
  • Jewelry
  • Platinum alloys
  • Jet engines
  • Fountain pen nibs
  • Uses in the oil refineries
  • Solar energy technologies
  • Optode sensors for oxygen
  • Component in two drugs to treat metastatic tumors and colon cancer.


Photo Courtesy of
Chemical Elements
Jefferson Lab
Web Elements

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