Ruthenium and Platinum Group
Ruthenium is a chemical element with symbol Ru and atomic number 44. It is a rare transition metal belonging to the platinum group of the periodic table. Like the other metals of the platinum group, ruthenium is inert to most other chemicals. The Baltic German scientist Karl Ernst Claus discovered the element in 1844, and named it after Ruthenia, the Latin word for Rus'. Ruthenium usually occurs as a minor component of platinum ores; annual production is about 20 tonnes. Most ruthenium produced is used for wear-resistant electrical contacts and the production of thick-film resistors. A minor application of ruthenium is its use in some platinum alloys.
The platinum-group metals (abbreviated as the PGMs; alternatively, the platinoids, platinides, platidises, platinum group, platinum metals, platinum family or platinum-group elements (PGEs)) is a term used sometimes to collectively refer to six metallic elements clustered together in the periodic table. These elements are all transition metals, lying in the d-block (groups 8, 9, and 10, periods 5 and 6).
The six platinum-group metals are ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum. They have similar physical and chemical properties, and tend to occur together in the same mineral deposits. However they can be further subdivided into the iridium-group platinum-group elements (IPGEs: Os, Ir, Ru) and the palladium-group platinum-group elements (PPGEs: Rh, Pt, Pd) based on their behaviour in geological systems.