About the element

Rhenium is a chemical element with the symbol Re and atomic number 75. It is a silvery-gray, heavy, third-row transition metal in group 7 of the periodic table. With an estimated average concentration of 1 part per billion, rhenium is one of the rarest elements in the Earth’s crust.


Key facts

  • Symbol: Re
  • Atomic number: 75
  • Atomic mass: 186.207 u
  • Melting point: 3,185 °C


Most of the targeted by-products elements are Critical Raw Materials (CRMs). CRMs combine raw materials of high importance to the EU economy and of high risk associated with their supply.

Rhenium is not part of the EU 2020 Critical Raw Materials List. Its criticality is considered to be low.

Main uses

Aerospace: rhenium is used in high-temperature superalloys in the aerospace sector for the manufacture of turbine blades for aircraft and industrial gas turbine engines.

Petroleum industry: rhenium is also used along with platinum as a catalyst in the production of high-octane unleaded gasoline

And also: rhenium-tungsten alloys in X-raytubes and rotating X-ray anodes, rhenium filaments in mass spectrometers, ion gauges and photoflash lamps in photography, etc.

Map of kernel density of weighted Rhenium scores in Europe by DBQ geostatistical method

The map below indicates few areas of potential interest for Rhenium prospection in Europe. It is part of the “Mapping of by-product potential evaluation” (Deliverable 2.1) led by consortium member BRGM.

This map was made based on the current available data and the DBQ geostatistical method, performing a kernel density calculation. The kernel density calculation is a statistical tool which estimates the probability density function of a random variable.