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Rhenium is a real rare and dispersed element in rare metals

Rare and scattered means the rhenium content is rare and dispersed in the crust; refractory means high melting point of rhenium metal, up to 3180°C, second only to tungsten, ranking second in all metals.

Due to its excellent compound properties of catalytic activity, high temperature and corrosion resistance and so like, it is mainly used in the fields of oil refining catalysts, thermoelectric superalloy, electronic valve structures, special aerospace alloy and environmental protection and so on.

Rhenium, as a member of manganese subgroup, was predicted its existence earlier when Mendeleev established the periodic system of elements, and called dwi-manganese, and another member of this group that was also not found at that time was called eka-manganese. Moseley later identified the atomic number of those two elements as 75 and 43 respectively. An unknown element can often be found from the minerals of elements that are similar to it, so scientists had been dedicated to finding those two elements from manganese ore, platinum ore and niobium iron ore (tantalum and niobium minerals). Until 1925, W. Noddack, I. Noddack-Tucker and OC Berg of German found the element rhenium when analyzing niobium manganese iron ore with spectrometry and named it, which comes from the Latin word Rhenus, meaning Rhine River. Noddack discovered later rhenium existed mainly in molybdenite, and extracted the metal rhenium from molybdenite. Because Rhenium resource is rare and expensive, there are fewer studies on it for long time. After 1950, rhenium began to be applied in modern technology, showing a growing production output. China has begun to extract rhenium from the molybdenum concentrate roasting dust and put in industrial production since 1960s, and now has been one of rhenium production and application powers.

Rhenium is 0.001 × 10-4% of content in the crust, and one of the few non-ferrous metal reserves on Earth. The world's known economic reserves in places is about 2500t, and the resource quantity is 10000t, mostly in Chile, the former Soviet Union, and Canada and other regions. The current available reserves of rhenium is 237t in China. The rhenium yield is less, only 30-50t of the world's annual output in recent years, while the consumption of rhenium has steadily increased with the rapid development of advanced materials technology.