About the element

Tellurium is a chemical element with the symbol Te and atomic number 52. It is a brittle, mildly toxic, rare, silver-white metalloid. Tellurium is chemically related to selenium and sulfur, all three of which are chalcogens. It is occasionally found in native form as elemental crystals. Tellurium is far more common in the Universe as a whole than on Earth. Its extreme rarity in the Earth’s crust, comparable to that of platinum, is due partly its formation of a volatile hydride that caused tellurium to be lost to space as a gas during the hot nebular formation of Earth, and partly to tellurium’s low affinity for oxygen that causes it to bind preferentially to other chalcophiles in dense minerals that sink into the core.

Elements-Te

Key facts

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.

  • Symbol: Te
  • Atomic number: 52
  • Atomic mass: 127.6 u