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It's Elemental

The Element Rhenium

[Click for Isotope Data]


75 Re Rhenium 186.207

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

Electron Shell Configuration:


2s2   2p6

3s2   3p6   3d10

4s2   4p6   4d10   4f14

5s2   5p6   5d5


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For questions about this page, please contact Steve Gagnon.