chemical element with symbol Re and atomic number 75

Rhenium is a chemical element. It has the chemical symbol Re. It has the atomic number 75. It is a rare noble metal. It is silver white. In chemistry it is placed in a group of metal elements called the transition metals. The chemistry of rhenium is similar to manganese. Discovered in 1908, rhenium was the second-last stable element to be discovered ('stable' meaning not radioactive). It was named after the river Rhine in Europe.


Nickel-based superalloys of rhenium are used in the combustion chambers, turbine blades, and exhaust nozzles of jet engines. These alloys contain up to 6% rhenium, making jet engine construction the largest single use for the element. The second-most important use is as a catalyst: rhenium is an excellent catalyst for hydrogenation and isomerization.

Rhenium found as a by-product of molybdenum refinement.

Rhenium is used in some manganese alloys. Rhenium-molybdenum alloys are superconductors.



Rhenium was discovered by Walter Noddack, Ida Noddack, and Otto Berg in Germany. In 1925, they reported that they detected the element in a platinum ore and in the mineral columbite. They also found rhenium in gadolinite and molybdenite.[1] In 1928, they were able to remove 1 g of the element from 660 kg of molybdenite.[1]



Rhenium is a silvery-white metal. It has the third highest melting points of all elements. It is also the third densest element.[2]



Rhenium has one stable isotope which is rhenium-185. Rhenium that is found in nature is made up of 37.4% rhenium-185 and 62.6% rhenium-187.[3][4] Rhenium has 33 known radioisotopes. They range from rhenium-160 to rhenium-194. The longest-lived radioisotope of rhenium is rhenium-183 which have a half-life of 70 days.[5]



Rhenium is one of the rarest elements in Earth's crust.[6] It the 77th most abundant element in the Earth's crust.[7] Rhenium may not be found free in nature.[6] It is found in small amounts in the mineral molybdenite.[8]



Commercial rhenium is gotten from molybdenum roaster-flue gas. Some molybdenum ores contain 0.001% to 0.2% rhenium.[6][8] Rhenium metal is made by reducing ammonium perrhenate with hydrogen at high temperatures.[9]

Nickel-based superalloys of rhenium are used in the combustion chambers, turbine blades, and exhaust nozzles of jet engines. Rhenium is used in superalloys, such as CMSX-4 (2nd generation) and CMSX-10 (3rd generation). These superalloys are used in industrial gas turbine engines like the GE 7FA.[10] Rhenium filaments are used in mass spectrometers, ion gauges and photoflash lamps in photography.[11][12] Rhenium-platinum alloys are used as a catalyst for catalytic reforming.[13] Rhenium-188 and Rhenium-186 are used to treat of liver cancer.[14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Die Ekamangane". Die Naturwissenschaften (in German). 13 (26): 567–574. 1925. Bibcode:1925NW.....13..567.. doi:10.1007/BF01558746. ISSN 0028-1042. S2CID 32974087.
  2. Liu, Lin-Gun; Takahashi, Taro; Bassett, William A. (1970). "Effect of pressure and temperature on the lattice parameters of rhenium". Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids. 31 (6): 1345–1351. Bibcode:1970JPCS...31.1345L. doi:10.1016/0022-3697(70)90138-1.
  3. "How to Change Nuclear Decay Rates". math.ucr.edu. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  4. Bosch, F.; Faestermann, T.; Friese, J.; Heine, F.; Kienle, P.; Wefers, E.; Zeitelhack, K.; Beckert, K.; Franzke, B. (1996-12-23). "Observation of Bound-State β − Decay of Fully Ionized 187 Re: 187 Re − 187 Os Cosmochronometry". Physical Review Letters. 77 (26): 5190–5193. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.77.5190. ISSN 0031-9007. PMID 10062738.
  5. Audi, G.; Kondev, F. G.; Wang, Meng; Huang, W.J.; Naimi, S. (2017). "The NUBASE2016 evaluation of nuclear properties". Chinese Physics C. 41 (3): 030001. Bibcode:2017ChPhC..41c0001A. doi:10.1088/1674-1137/41/3/030001. ISSN 1674-1137. Archived from the original on 2020-06-26. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Greenwood, Norman; N., Earnshaw (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Elsevier Science & Technology Books. ISBN 978-0-08-037941-8.
  7. Emsley, John. (2001). Nature's building blocks : an A-Z guide to the elements. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850341-5. OCLC 46984609.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Rouschias, George (1974). "Recent advances in the chemistry of rhenium". Chemical Reviews. 74 (5): 531–566. doi:10.1021/cr60291a002. ISSN 0009-2665.
  9. SCHENK, P.W.; BRAUER, G. (1963). Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry. Elsevier. pp. 3–107. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-395590-6.50008-9. ISBN 978-0-12-395590-6.
  10. Bondarenko, Yu. A.; Kablov, E. N.; Surova, V. A.; Echin, A. B. (2006). "Effect of high-gradient directed crystallization on the structure and properties of rhenium-bearing single-crystal alloy". Metal Science and Heat Treatment. 48 (7–8): 360–363. Bibcode:2006MSHT...48..360B. doi:10.1007/s11041-006-0099-6. ISSN 0026-0673. S2CID 136907279.
  11. Earle, G.D.; Medikonduri, R.; Rajagopal, N.; Narayanan, V.; Roddy, P.A. (2005). "Tungsten-rhenium filament lifetime variability in low pressure oxygen environments". IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. 33 (5): 1736–1737. Bibcode:2005ITPS...33.1736E. doi:10.1109/TPS.2005.856413. ISSN 0093-3813. S2CID 26162679.
  12. Ede, Andrew. (2006). The chemical element : a historical perspective. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-33304-1. OCLC 64390389.
  13. Ryashentseva, Margarita A (1998-02-28). "Rhenium-containing catalysts in reactions of organic compounds". Russian Chemical Reviews. 67 (2): 157–177. Bibcode:1998RuCRv..67..157R. doi:10.1070/RC1998v067n02ABEH000390. ISSN 0036-021X. S2CID 250866233.
  14. R. Dilworth, Jonathan; J. Parrott, Suzanne (1998). "The biomedical chemistry of technetium and rhenium". Chemical Society Reviews. 27 (1): 43. doi:10.1039/a827043z. ISSN 0306-0012.