Four Times Rarer than Gold, Five Times Rarer than Platinum: Ruthenium

ruthenium as physical asset

The price development of ruthenium, in per cent.

Market Situation

Future fields of application for ruthenium are in the area of renewable energies in the form of fuel cells. In addition to platinum, ruthenium or a platinum-ruthenium mixture is used as a catalyst material for the various types of fuel cells.

Ruthenium could also play an important role in photovoltaics in the future: Solar cells with ruthenium coatings are currently being developed and could partially replace the predominant silicon cells thanks to their higher efficiency.

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properties of ruthenium

Ruthenium is one of the rarest, non-radioactive elements on our planet. The largest global supplier is South Africa, which mines the raw material along with other platinum group metals such as iridium and rhodium. Annual production in 2021 was around 30 to 35 tons.

applications of ruthenium

Ruthenium is mainly used in the electronics industry, e.g. as a coating for hard disks or to reduce the size of integrated circuits. Therefore, the platinum group metal can be found in almost all data centers.

Industry is also very interested in the precious metal. The optical industry appreciates the metal’s high reflectivity and uses it for, among other things, coating infrared laser mirrors.