Rediscovery of the Elements: Ruthenium Page: 4 of 5
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B 3TOU3ANNHN B 1844roAMy
elpo ECCoPoM K. AAYCOM
it POcECCOP KK.KAAYC
" APA4'Ifl AH 1844 eAAA
Figure 9. Plaque on the Butlerov Institute in two
languages - Russian (top) and Tatar (bottom). It
reads: "In this building in 1844 Professor K. K.
Klaus discovered the chemical element ruthenium."
Tatar is a Turkish language and is the official
language of Tatarstan, of which Kazan is the
capital. The Tatar language was for centuries
written in Arabic, but in 1920, the alphabet was
changed to a Latin base, and then, in 1939, to the
Cyrillic alphabet. Also on the building are plaques
honoring Butlerov, Markownikoff Zinin, Arbuzov,
and Boris. Courtesy, Alexander Bednekoff.
Klaus, perceived chemical relationships among
the platinum group elements included the nat-
ural pairings of platinum with gold and palladi-
um with silver.3 Klaus accumulated a vast body
of knowledge that allowed him instead to
discern two corresponding natural series of
triades-Ru-Rh-Pd and Os-Ir-Pt, with chemi-
cally similar pairs Ru-Os, Rh-Ir, and Pd-Pt.
These triades presaged the Periodic Table by
two decades. Klaus also introduced the concept
of structure of double salts (e.g., K2PtC6),
which was developed and refined by Alfred
Werner almost 40 years later into his coordina-
Berzelius was sent samples of ruthenium
(Figure 10) and gave the new element his offi-
cial sanction." Klaus continued to work on
ruthenium and published his 20-year work on
the platinum group in celebration of the 50-
year Jubilee at Kazan University.' For a centu-
ry, this served as the standard textbook for the
platinum metals.' -
In 1852, Klaus had moved back to his
beloved Dorpat to assume the Chair of
Pharmacy at his Alma Mater. By now, he was a
celebrity as he visited Berlin, Paris, London, and
Switzerland. In February, 1864, after giving a
Figure 8. The Buterlov Chemical Institute
at Kazan State University (100 meters
south of the main university building),
where Klaus discovered ruthenium,
presently holds a chemical museum (N 550
47.40 E 490 07.31). Aleksandr
Mikhailovich Butlerov (1828-1886) was
professor at Kazan 1857, then at the
University of St. Petersburg 1868. Butlerov
was a pioneer in the study of the structure
of organic molecules, such as using double
bonds in structural formulas. He also dis-
covered formaldehyde. Kazan was also
known for Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky
I ,gt l inull l t 1 Cn/ tti
museum of the Butlerov Institute, including
original ruthenium samples of Klaus.
lecture to a group of Russian pharmacists at St.
Petersburg, he caught a winter chill; when he
returned to Dorpat, he died of pneumonia a
James Lewis Howe, in 1900, in ultimate
tribute, summarized Klaus' contributions thus-
ly: ... there appears at the University of Kazan,
almost on the far eastern frontier of Russia
(Figure 11), a chemist, Claus, who is destined to
make greater contributions to the chemistry of
platinum metals, not only those who had pre-
ceded him, but than any one of those who have
lived in the nearly forty years since his death."'
For information and photographs pertaining
to Klaus and Kazan, the authors are indebted to
Dr. Renat Zagretdinov, Professor of Astronomy,
Kazan State University; and to Dr. Alexander
Bednekoff, Professor Emeritus of Pittsburgh
1 w t 11 L I-l i , [tt om lt ti la ta e~~
(Qazan in Tartar). Kazan was founded by either
the Volga Bulgars or the Taters (Tarters) of the
Golden Horde. In the mid-15th century, Kazan
became an important city in trading routes.
In 1552, the city was conquered by Ivan the
Terrible. A revival of the Tatar culture has
occurred in the 20th century, with public signs
written in both Russian and Tatar. This painting,
by modern artist Ravil Zagidullin, appears in
the National Kazan Cultural Center (Nationalniy
Kazanskiy Kulturniy Tsentr Ul. Ol'kenitskogo
and Ul. Pushkina, N 550 48.09 E 490 7.56).
State University, Pittsburgh, Kansas, who is flu-
ent in Russian and who visited his parents'
homeland in Kazan and Ekaterinburg. For
much valuable information used in the writing
of this report, gratitude is extended to Dr.
William P. Griffith, Imperial College, London,
scholar of platinum chemistry and chemical
history, who furnished many archival Russian
(continued on page 31)
SUMMER 2009/THE HEXAGON
(1792-1856), famous for his development of non-Euclidean geonmetry, or hyperbolic geometry, which is
today used in such fields as Einstein's relativity, and Vladimir Vasilevich Markovnikov, who formulated his
cpon/nmous rule [or organic chemistry in 1870. Courtesy, Renat Zagretdinov
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Marshall, James L., 1940- & Marshall, Virginia R. Rediscovery of the Elements: Ruthenium, article, Summer 2009; Indianapolis, Indiana. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc111238/m1/4/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.