Chemical Element: ruthenium

(Modern Latin: named for Ruthenia [Latin for Russia] in the Urals, where one was first found; metal)

Chemical-Element Information

Symbol: Ru
Atomic number: 44
Year discovered: 1844

Discovered by: Karl Karlovich Klaus (1796-1864) [also spelled: Carl Ernst Claus and Carl Carlovich Claus], Russian chemist of German descent.

  • Ruthenium was isolated, in 1844, by Karl Karlovich Klaus, who obtained ruthenium from the part of crude platinum that is insoluble in aqua regia.
  • It is possible that a Polish chemist Jedrzej Sniadecki had in fact isolated ruthenium from some platinum ores a little earlier than this in 1807, but his work was apparently not ratified, because he withdrew his claims. He called it “vestium”.
  • The name, ruthenium, was selected by G. W. Osann, in 1828, when he made a premature announcement of the discovery of the element in platinum ore from the Ural Mountains.
  • Although Osann’s announcement was never confirmed, Claus kept the name for this element.

Name in other languages:

French: ruthénium

German: Ruthenium

Italian: utenio

Spanish: utenio

Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.

A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.