Properties of Ruthenium
Ruthenium is one of the rarest, non-radioactive elements on our planet. The largest global supplier is South Africa, which mines the raw material along with other platinum group metals such as iridium and rhodium. In 2021, annual production was around 30-35 tonnes.
Areas of Application for Ruthenium
The raw material is mainly used in the electronics industry, e.g. as a coating for hard drives or to make integrated circuits smaller. Therefore, the platinum group metal is found in almost all computer centres.
Furthermore, it is also used in titanium or platinum alloys to increase their hardness and resistance. It is often used as a catalyst in various chemical processes and, like iridium, is used in the production of chlorine.
Server farms are booming. Here, ruthenium is used as a coating of hard disks.
Tangible Asset Ruthenium
Trivia About Ruthenium
Future potential applications for ruthenium are in the field of renewable energies in the form of fuel cells. In addition to platinum, ruthenium or a platinum-ruthenium mixture is used as a catalyst material for various types of fuel cells.
Ruthenium could also play an important role in photovoltaics in the future: Solar cells with ruthenium coatings are currently being developed; they could partially replace the predominant silicon cells thanks to their higher efficiency.