Ruthenium is a chemical element that has the symbol Ru and atomic number 44. A semi-rare transition metal of the platinum
group of the periodic table, ruthenium is found associated with platinum ores and used as a catalyst in some platinum alloys. Ruthenium has been found to be much more common on Mars than it was on Earth.

Characteristics Edit

A polyvalent hard white metal, ruthenium is a member of the platinum group, and is in group 8 of the periodic table but has an atypical configuration in its outermost electron shells compared to the rest of the members. (This can be observed in the neighborhood of niobium (41), ruthenium (44), rhodium (45), and palladium (46).)

Ruthenium has four crystal modifications and does not tarnish at normal temperatures, but does oxidize readily on exposure to air to form ruthenium tetroxide, RuO4, a strong oxidising agent with properties analogous to those of osmium tetroxide. Ruthenium dissolves in fused alkalis, is not attacked by acids but is attacked by halogens at high temperatures. Small amounts of ruthenium can increase the hardness of platinum and palladium. The corrosion resistance of titanium is increased markedly by the addition of a small amount of ruthenium.

This metal can be plated either by electroplating or by thermal decomposition methods. One ruthenium-molybdenum alloy has been found to be superconductive at 10.6 K. The oxidation states of ruthenium range from +1 to +8, and -2 is known, though oxidation states of +2, +3, and +4 are most common.

Uses Edit

Due to its ability to harden platinum and palladium, ruthenium is used in platinum and palladium alloys to make wear-resistant electrical contacts. It is sometimes alloyed with gold in jewelry. 0.1% ruthenium is added to titanium to improve its corrosion resistance a hundredfold.

Ruthenium is also used in some advanced high-temperature single-crystal superalloys, with applications including the turbine blades in jet engines and wind generators.

Ruthenium is also a versatile catalyst. Hydrogen sulfide can be split by light by using an aqueous suspension of CdS particles loaded with ruthenium dioxide. This may be useful in the removal of H2S from numerous industrial processes.

Ruthenium is a component of mixed-metal oxide (MMO) anodes used for cathodic protection of underground and submerged structures as seen in most homesteads and Settlements, and for electrolytic cells for chemical processes such as generating chlorine from saltwater.


The base value of each unit of ranges between 1 and 15Ð per unit, with up to 3 units being found at any one time.

Presence on Mars: Very Rare

Martian Minerals
Group 1 | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4 | Group 5 | Group 6
Group 2 |Argon | Bromine | Cadmium | Gallium | Germanium | Gold | Helium III | Krypton | Molybdenum | Neon | Niobium | Nitrogen | |Palladium | Rhodium | Rubidium | Ruthenium | Scandium | Selenium | Silver | Strontium | Technetium | Titanium | Vanadium | |Yttrium | Zirconium|

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