#4 Ruthenium

Type of Metal:

Ruthenium is polyvalent hard white, rare transition metal belonging to the platinum group. Like the other metals of the platinum group, ruthenium is inert to most other chemicals.

What it’s used for:

Ruthenium is mainly used in applications for resistors in the electronics sectors. Increasingly, ruthenium is also being used in computer hard discs to increase the density at which data is stored. It is also being used in certain catalytic applications in today’s gas to liquids technology to generate various sulphur-free, high-quality fuels.

Where it comes from:

In 1807 a Polish chemist Andrzej Sniadecki had christened it vestium. It was given its final name in 1827 when Jöns Jacob Berzelius and Gottfried Osann examined the remains of platinum ore from the Ural mountains that was insoluble in a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acid and identified ruthenium oxide. In 1844, Russian professor Karl Karlovich Klaus, obtained a pure sample from this oxide and ruthenium became the last of the platinum group metals (PGMs) to be isolated. The Urals are still a source of ruthenium and it is also found in North and South America and South Africa.

So how much is it worth?

Ruthenium was the seventh most precious metal, trading at $180 per ounce back in May of 2011. Currently it is valued at $72 per ounce and is projected to continue to rise.

Is it recyclable?

Yes, Ruthenium can be recycled. Just like other rare metals recycling provides secondary sources of it, primarily from used reforming catalysts that contain it.

To find out what metals you can recycle at our Garner/Raleigh location, visit TT&E’s site for Scrap Metals We Buy >>