Rhenium | Descriptions, Properties, Uses & Facts

Rhenium | Descriptions, Properties, Uses & Facts

Unveiling the Marvels of a Rare Element and Its Alloys


Rhenium, a lesser-known element in the periodic table, holds a unique status due to its scarcity and remarkable properties. This blog aims to shed light on rhenium's chemical characteristics, its role in alloys, and its diverse applications.

Rhenium Basics:

Symbol: Re

Atomic Number: 75

Atomic Mass: 186.207 u

Position in the Periodic Table: Group 7, Period 6

Electron Configuration: [Xe] 4f14 5d5 6s2    

or 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 4f14 5s2 5p6 5d5 6s2

Valency:* Rhenium exhibits multiple oxidation states, with the most common being +7.

Chemical and Physical Properties:

Physical State: Silvery-white, dense metal.

Melting Point: 3,180°C (5,756°F)

Boiling Point: 5,767°C (10,453°F)

Density: 21.02 g/cm³

High Melting Point: Rhenium boasts one of the highest melting points of all elements, making it suitable for extreme temperature applications.

Rhenium Compounds:

  • Rhenium forms various compounds, with the +7 oxidation state being the most stable.
  • Rhenium heptoxide (Re2O₇) is a prominent example, known for its role in the production of other rhenium compounds.

Chemical Reactions with Other Elements:

  • Rhenium is resistant to corrosion and does not react with oxygen at room temperature.
  • It forms oxides, halides, and sulfides under specific conditions, showcasing its versatile reactivity.

Occurrence and Production:

  • Rhenium is a rare element found in trace amounts in certain ores, primarily associated with copper and molybdenum.
  • Its production is often a byproduct of copper and molybdenum mining and refining processes.

Uses and Facts:

Aerospace Industry: Rhenium is crucial in aerospace applications, especially in the production of superalloys for jet engines, where its high melting point and resistance to deformation are invaluable.

Electronics: Rhenium is used in the production of electrical contacts, filaments, and as an additive in certain semiconductors.

Medical Imaging: Rhenium-188, a radioactive isotope, is employed in nuclear medicine for diagnostic imaging.

Rhenium Powder:

  • Rhenium powder is a finely divided form of the element, often used in the production of various alloys.
  • Its increased surface area enhances its reactivity, making it a valuable component in certain industrial processes.

Molybdenum Rhenium Alloy:

  • Molybdenum rhenium alloys are renowned for their high-temperature strength and stability.
  • These alloys find applications in aerospace, electronics, and high-temperature furnaces.


In the realm of rare elements, rhenium stands out as a powerhouse with unique properties that find applications in critical industries. From its role in aerospace alloys to medical imaging, rhenium's versatility continues to shape technological advancements. As we explore the wonders of this rare element, it becomes evident that the seemingly obscure corners of the periodic table hold untapped potential for innovation and progress.

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