The last, stable, non-radioactive and naturally occurring element to be discovered, Rhenium was finally discovered and isolated in 1925 by Walter Noddack and Ida Tacke. The metal does not occur in a ‘free’ state and the little Rhenium extracted is recovered from flue dusts captured at Molybdenum (Moly) roasters.
World production is currently around 45 tonnes per year with estimated reserves at 3,500 tonnes found mainly in ores from USA, Russia and Chile, which is the worlds leading producer. The metal has the fourth highest density of all elements and is among the ten most expensive metals on Earth, at times exceeding $12,000 per kilogram.
Rhenium is mainly used within jet engines, where single crystal turbine blades at the core are made from complex nickel base alloys containing 3-6% Rhenium. All modern gas turbine engines require Rhenium within these alloys. Rhenium is also essential to reforming catalysts within the oil industry.
Density (near r.t.): 21.02 g·cm-3
Liquid density at m.p.: 18.9 g·cm-3
3459 K, 3186 °C, 5767 °F
5869 K, 5596 °C, 10105 °F
Heat of fusion:
Heat of vaporization:
Specific heat capacity:
(25 °C) 25.48 J·mol-1·K-1
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