We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Technetium?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Technetium is a metallic chemical element which does not appear naturally, because it has no stable isotope. It bears the distinction of being the first synthetically produced element, after a great deal of experimentation by scientists who predicted its presence on the basis of the order of the periodic table of elements. Consumers generally do not interact with technetium, since it is radioactive, although it is used as a radioactive tracer for some medical tests, so people with certain illnesses may be familiar with it.

In appearance, technetium looks almost like platinum, with a bright, silvery gray color. In moist air, the element will slowly oxidize, and it needs to handled carefully because of its radioactivity. Technetium will also dissolve in certain substances, such as nitric or sulfuric acids. It is identified on the periodic table with the symbol Tc, and it has an atomic number of 43, placing it between molybdenum and ruthenium.

The history of the element is rather complex. The existence of technetium was first hypothesized by Dmitri Mendelev, who noted a gap in the periodic table which he assumed would be filled by an as-yet unknown element. Throughout the 1800s, chemists found a number of substances which they proposed as the missing element, but these turned out to be impure forms of other elements. Finally, in 1937, Carlo Perrier and Emilio Segre produced technetium in their laboratory by bombarding molybdenum in a cyclotron. The new element was named technetium in honor of the technology which facilitated the discovery.

Most of the world's technetium is produced as a byproduct of nuclear fission, and it tends to be expensive. The element is used in chemistry as a catalyst for a variety of reactions, and it is also employed in nuclear medicine. Some scientists also believe that it could be used as an additive in metal alloys to help metals resist corrosion. Access to technetium is generally controlled, since the element is radioactive and therefore potentially dangerous in the hands of people who are inexperienced.

Small amounts of technetium enter the environment through the detonation of nuclear weapons, improper disposal of medical waste, and emissions from nuclear plants. People can absorb the element through air and water, which could cause health problems in high concentrations. Most technetium appears to be expressed by the body, which is why it can be safely used in medical imaging. Specialized testing can be performed to look for technetium exposure in people who may be at higher risk.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All The Science researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon6243 — On Dec 20, 2007

I am working on a project about this element and it really helped me. Thanks for the information.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.