The Element Rhenium
[Click for Isotope Data]
Atomic Number: 75
Atomic Weight: 186.207
Melting Point: 3459 K (3186°C or 5767°F)
Boiling Point: 5869 K (5596°C or 10105°F)
Density: 20.8 grams per cubic centimeter
Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
Element Classification: Metal
Period Number: 6 Group Number: 7 Group Name: none
What's in a name? From the Latin word for the Rhine River, Rhenus.
Say what? Rhenium is pronounced as REE-nee-em.
History and Uses:
Rhenium was discovered by the German chemists Ida Tacke-Noddack, Walter Noddack and Otto Carl Berg in 1925. They detected rhenium spectroscopically in platinum ores and in the minerals columbite ((Fe, Mn, Mg)(Nb, Ta)2O6), gadolinite ((Ce, La, Nd, Y)2FeBe2Si2O10) and molybdenite (MoS2). Rhenium is present in these materials only in trace amounts. In 1928, Noddack and Berg were able to extract 1 gram of rhenium from 660 kilograms of molybdenite. Today, rhenium is obtained as a byproduct of refining molybdenum and copper.
Rhenium is used in flash lamps for photography and for filaments in mass spectrographs and ion gages, but is most frequently used as an alloying agent in tungsten and molybdenum and as a catalyst for performing certain reactions to a type of hydrocarbon known as an olefin.
Estimated Crustal Abundance: 7×10-4 milligrams per kilogram
Estimated Oceanic Abundance: 4×10-6 milligrams per liter
Number of Stable Isotopes: 1 (View all isotope data)
Ionization Energy: 7.88 eV
Oxidation States: +7, +6, +4
3s2 3p6 3d10
4s2 4p6 4d10 4f14
5s2 5p6 5d5