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Rhenium (Re)

Rhenium is a silver-white, heavy transition metal with atomic number 75. Discovered in 1925, Rhenium was the last stable element to be identified and has an estimated average concentration in the earth’s crust of 1 part per billion; as a result, Rhenium is one of the rarest elements in the world, and annual global supply is only around 40-50 tonnes. Currently the main commercial source of Rhenium is by its extraction from Molybdenum roaster-flue gas obtained from Copper-Sulphide ores. When copper ores are roasted, they produce gases and dusts which contain large concentrations of Molybdenum and small amounts of Rhenium, which is chemically separated and refined.

Rhenium is typically produced in countries which have large, well-developed Copper mines equipped with the necessary technology for Rhenium extraction. Most of the world’s Rhenium comes from Chile (55%) with other notable producing countries being the USA (16%), Poland (15%) and China (5%).

Rhenium’s principle application is in the aerospace industry for superalloys such as PWA and Rene series. In Nickel single crystal alloys, Rhenium stabilizes the γ’ phase and impedes diffusion in the solution, which increase creep strength – a vital consideration in high temperature applications such as jet engine turbine blades. Rhenium’s wide range of possible oxidation states also make it ideal for catalysis, and it widely used in Platinum-Rhenium catalysts for catalytic reforming in the oil and gas industry.

ICD has a huge wealth of experience working with Rhenium, and we can typically supply it in the following forms:

  • Ammonium Perrhenate (APR)
  • Rhenium pellets and solids
  • Rhenium-bearing alloys, waste and scrap.

Atomic Number

75

Atomic Mass

186.21

Oxidation States

7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, -1, -3

Density

21.02g/cm3

Crystal Structure

Hexagonal Close-Packed

Melting Point

3459K

Boiling Point

5903K

E Modulus

463 GPa

G Modulus

178 GPa

Vickers Hardness

1350-7850 MPa

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