Chemical reactions of the elements

Reaction of ruthenium with air

Ruthenium is largely immune to atmospheric attack. On heating with oxygen, ruthenium metal gives ruthenium (IV) oxide, RuO2.

Ru(s) + O2(g) → RuO2(s)

Normally second and third row d-block elements show similar chemistries, but in this case, osmium (immediately below ruthenium in the periodic table) burns to give osmium (VIII) oxide, OsO4.

Reaction of ruthenium with water

Ruthenium does not react with water under normal conditions.

Reaction of ruthenium with the halogens

Ruthenium reacts with excess of fluorine, F2, to form ruthenium(VI) fluoride, RuF6.

Ru(s) + 3F2(g) → RuF6(s) (dark brown)

Heating ruthenium metal at 330°C with chlorine, Cl2, in the presence of carbon monoxide, CO, produces dark brown ruthenium (III) chloride, RuCl3. Further heating of this material under Cl2 gives a black form of ruthenium (III) chloride.

Reaction of ruthenium with acids

Reaction of ruthenium with bases

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ruthenium atomic number