Ruthenium Prices – Historical Graph

Real-time chart of historical daily ruthenium prices. The prices are shown in kilogram.
The current price is and is last updated on .
  • The average price in the past 3 days is
  • The average price in the past 7 days is
  • The average price in the past 30 days is
  • The average price in the past 365 days is

Ruthenium Prices Explained

Ruthenium prices mainly rely on the demand and development of chemical and electronic industries. The development of AI opens new market potential for the commodity as its application is associated with the manufacturing of smartphones and personal computers.

Why are ruthenium prices fluctuating?

1. Electrical Industry

The increasing demand for hard disks, thick film chip resistors, and plasma display panels makes way for the marketability of ruthenium metals. Additionally, the Chlor-alkali process extensively needs this commodity. Thus, contributing to the rise of ruthenium prices. Ruthenium oxide is important in the chemical industry as it is a good source in producing chlorine. Moreover, it is necessary to coat anodes in electrochemical cells.

2. Electronic Devices

Technological advancements such as IoT that enable transformed connectivity to power devices such as smartphones and personal computers continuously drive ruthenium prices. Ruthenium is a main component in making silicon chips which allow these gadgets to have seamless connection to the cloud. Thus, this ground-breaking development affects ruthenium prices.

3. Metal Scarcity

Ruthenium is a by-product of nickel, copper, and platinum ore processing. Additionally, its production process is complicated and expensive. So, the production output of this metal is minimal, creating a tight supply chain in the market and its prices. Moreover, ruthenium compounds are highly toxic and carcinogenic (chemicals that cause cancer) as they stain the skin strongly when in contact.

Overall, the scarcity and health concerns of this metal fuel ruthenium prices in the market.

4. Demand from the Medical Industry

Market analysts credited the North American region as the growing top consumer of ruthenium metals. The need for ruthenium-based products from research and development institutes and hospitals in the U.S. will further boost its demand and value. While its compounds are toxic, the country’s medical industry established a ruthenium-based cancer therapy.

If this initiative proves fruitful, this will add commercial value to ruthenium prices.

Which variables impact the price of ruthenium?

  • Electrical Industry
  • Electronic Devices
  • Metal Scarcity
  • Demand from the Medical Industry
  • Supply Constraints
  • Speculations

Where does ruthenium come from?

Ruthenium is a rare and precious metal. It is not found in nature in pure form, however, it can be extracted from nickel-copper sulfide ores. These are the following steps of the ruthenium production process.

1. Mining and Concentration – Nickel-copper sulfide ores are typically mined using underground mining methods. The ore is crushed and ground to a fine powder. Then, the powder is mixed with water and chemicals to form a slurry. The slurry passes through a series of flotation cells.

In the tanks, air bubbles are blown through the slurry. It attaches to hydrophobic (water-repelling) metal particles such as nickel, copper, and ruthenium. The air bubbles carry the metal particles to the surface of the slurry where they are skimmed off. Additionally, the skimmed-off metal particles are concentrated further using gravity separation. This process separates materials based on their density.

2. Smelting – The concentrated ore is blended to produce a nickel-copper matte. This technique uses heat to melt the ore and separate the metals from the other materials in the ore. The molten ore is poured into a mold, where it cools and solidifies to form a nickel-copper matte.

3. Refining – The nickel-copper matte is refined to produce pure nickel and copper. Additionally, ruthenium is recovered during the refining process. The matte is first melted and treated with various chemicals to remove impurities. The molten matte is poured into a container to cool off and harden, forming pure nickel and copper.

4. Purification – The recovered ruthenium is purified using a variety of techniques such as solvent extraction and precipitation. Solvent extraction is a process that uses a solvent to extract the ruthenium from the other metals in the mixture. Precipitation is a process that uses a chemical to precipitate the ruthenium out of the solution.

After purifying, the metal is cast into ingots, sheets, or other forms.

What are the uses of ruthenium?

Ruthenium is a member of the platinum group of metals. Moreover, it is a versatile element with a wide range of applications. Here are some of the top applications of ruthenium:

1. Manufacturing Electrical Contacts and Chip Resistors – Ruthenium is used in the production of wear-resistant electrical contacts and chip resistors. Its durability and resistance to wear make it an excellent choice for these applications.

2. Coating Anodes for Chlorine Production – In the electrochemical cells for chlorine production, ruthenium is used to coat the anodes as it enhances the efficiency and longevity of the cells.

3. Hardening and Improving Corrosion Resistance – This meta is added to platinum, palladium, and titanium alloys to harden them and improve their corrosion resistance. This makes the alloys more durable and suitable for various industrial applications.

4. Solar Cells – Additionally, ruthenium finds application in the manufacturing of low-cost solar cells. It absorbs light rays of the visible spectrum, making it useful in solar energy production.

5. Capping Layer for Extreme Ultraviolet Photomasks – A new application of ruthenium is the capping layer for extreme ultraviolet photomasks. This application takes advantage of ruthenium’s unique properties at the nanoscale.

What is the future price of ruthenium?

Generally, ruthenium prices come along with the cyclical development in technological industries. While the metal is rare in marketplaces, the demand for this metal flows steadily due to its unique properties and function highly applicable to various industries.

The following are some of the key factors that are driving the demand for ruthenium:

  • Growing demand for electronics – Ruthenium is important in various electronic devices such as smartphones, computers, and tablets. The increasing competition among manufacturers pushes ruthenium demand and prices.
  • Increasing use in catalysis – Ruthenium is a highly effective catalyst as it speeds up chemical reactions without being consumed. This makes it ideal for use in numerous industrial processes such as oil refining and the production of chemicals and plastics.

Overall, the outlook for the ruthenium market is positive and its prices will remain elevated in the coming years, reaching $600 per ounce by 2030.


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