Chemical Fact Sheet


Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 7440-26-8
Analytical Methods 200.8 - 6020
Atomic Symbol Tc

Synopsis from the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics 92nd Edition 2011-2013

Technetium (Gr. technetos, artificial), Tc; at. wt. (98); at. no. 43; m.p. 2157 C; b.p. 4265 C; sp. gr. 11.50 (calc.); valence 0, +2, +4, +5, +6, and +7. Element 43 was predicted on the basis of the periodic table, and was erroneously reported as having been discovered in 1925, at which time it was named masurium. The element was actually discovered by Perrier and Segre in Italy in 1937. It was found in a sample of molybdenum that was bombarded by deuterons in the Berkeley cyclotron, and which E. Lawrence sent to these investigators. Technetium was the first element to be produced artificially. Since its discovery, searches for the element in terrestrial materials have been made without success. If it does exist, the concentration must be very small. Technetium has been found in the spectrum of S-, M-, and N-type stars, and its presence in stellar matter is leading to new theories of the production of heavy elements in the stars. Forty-three isotopes and isomers of technetium, with mass numbers ranging from 86 to 113, are known. 97Tc has a half-life of 2.6 106 years. 98Tc has a half-life of 4.2 106 years. The isomeric isotope 95mTc, with a half-life of 61 days, is useful for tracer work, as it produces energetic gamma rays. Technetium metal has been produced in kilogram quantities. The metal was first prepared by passing hydrogen gas at 1100 C over Tc2S7. It is now conveniently prepared by the reduction of ammonium pertechnetate with hydrogen. Technetium is a silvery-gray metal that tarnishes slowly in moist air. Until 1960, technetium was available only in small amounts and the price was as high as $2800/g, but the price is now of the order of $100/g. The chemistry of technetium is similar to that of rhenium. Technetium dissolves in The Elements 4-35 nitric acid, aqua regia, and concentrated sulfuric acid, but is not soluble in hydrochloric acid of any strength. The element is a remarkable corrosion inhibitor for steel. It is reported that mild carbon steels may be effectively protected by as little as 55 ppm of KTcO4 in aerated distilled water at temperatures up to 250 C. This corrosion protection is limited to closed systems, since technetium is radioactive and must be confined. 99Tc has a specific activity of 6.2 108 Bq/g. Activity of this level must not be allowed to spread. 99Tc is a contamination hazard and should be handled in a glove box. The metal is an excellent superconductor at 11K and below.

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