Uses of Thorium One of the main uses of Thorium is in metal alloys such as Mag-Thor, an magnesium alloy that is used in aircraft engines... Thorium is used in its gaseous form, thoria, in gas tungsten arch welding. Added to glass, thorium yields glasses with a high refractive index, useful for specialized optical applications. When bombarded with neutrons, thorium-232 becomes thorium-233, which eventually decays into uranium-233 through a series of beta decays. It has been used in commercial photoelectric cells for measuring ultraviolet light of wavelengths ranging from 2000 to 3750 angstroms. Much of the internal heat the earth has been attributed to thorium and uranium. Uses. Thorium-232 is useful in breeder reactors because on capturing slow-moving neutrons it decays into fissionable uranium-233. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Uses. However, the use of thorium was short lived as the reactor was switched to uranium oxide. Used as an alloying element in magnesium, to coat tungsten wire in electrical equipment. Here's what that is. There is probably more untapped energy available for use from thorium in the minerals of the earth's crust than from combined uranium and fossil fuel sources. In contrast, no isolable molecular thorium nitride complexes are known. Thorium has also been used to carbon date fossils, seabeds and mountain ranges. Thorium is also used to coat tungsten filaments used in electronic devices, such at television sets. Other uses for thorium include heat-resistant ceramics, aircraft engines, and in light bulbs, according to Chemicool. Thorium is being researched as a substitute for uranium in nuclear reactors due to the fact that much more of this material is available and it is much more difficult to use this substance in weaponry. Thorium (Th), radioactive chemical element of the actinoid series of the periodic table, atomic number 90; it is a useful nuclear reactor fuel. 4. Uses of thorium. It is used as fuel in nuclear reactors, as a replacement for uranium. Here is a hint. Thorium dioxide is used as a material in heat-resistant ceramics, especially those used to create crucibles. Thorium is a silvery metal with radioactive properties that was discovered in 1828 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius (a Swedish chemist) and was named after Thor (the famous Norse god of thunder).. Thorium is as chemical element which occurs naturally. When it decaying it releases radon-22 gas as well as radium and actinium. Thorium is added to magnesium and magnesium alloys to improve their high-temperature strength. Thorium has a characteristic terrestrial isotopic composit… However, in 2013, IUPACreclassified thorium as binuclidic, due to large amounts of Th in deep seawater. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Thorium has the potential to be used as a fuel for generating nuclear energy.Since thorium is naturally present in the environment, people are exposed to tiny amounts in air, food and water. The nodes aren't as clustered and close together as the ones in Silithus, however it's a very simplistic route that circles the border of the zone. The internal heat of the earth is largely attributed to the presence of thorium and uranium. For example, an isotope of thorium is normally in equilibrium with uranium-234 but is found to be virtually absent in modern corals even though uranium-234 is present. In terms of radioactivity, thorium is a nuclear fuel that can be used in reactors to generate low-carbon electricity, but operates in the Thorium-Uranium (Th-U) fuel cycle. A great deal of testing, analysis and licensing and qualification work is re… 2. The use of thorium as a new primary energy source has been a tantalizing prospect for many years. Uranium-233 is a fissionable material and can be used as a nuclear fuel. Thorium is added to magnesium and magnesium alloys to improve their high-temperature strength. If you guessed Thor, you are correct. Your email address will not be published. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Thermal Reactors. 1.1.1 Industrial Uses. It is also added to glass to improve refractive index and decrease dispersion. The radioactivity of thorium was found independently (1898) by German chemist Gerhard Carl Schmidt and by French physicist Marie Curie. One isotope, Th, is relatively stable, with a half-life of 1.405×10 years, considerably longer than the age of the Earth, and even slightly longer than the generally accepted age of the universe. They are therefore used for high quality camera lenses and scientific instruments Thorium is an actinoid atom and a f-block element atom. There is minimal health risks to using lenses created with thorium dioxide. Thorium also has been widely used in lantern mantles for the brightness it imparts (though alternatives are replacing it), and in welding rods, which burn better with small amounts of added thorium. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. (8) The difference in the energy output of the two elements arises because most uranium mined is uranium-238, which is not fissile. The metal is a source of nuclear power.
Thorium is very insoluble, which is why it is plentiful in sands but not in seawater, in contrast to uranium. How well do you know their symbols? compound of this metal Thorium oxide is used as an industrial catalyst. A great deal of research is going into using thorium as a nuclear fuel. Thorium is also used for portable gas lights. This is due to its ability to increase strength and creep resistance. This isotope makes up nearly all natural thorium, so thorium was considered to be mononuclidic. The internal heat of the earth is largely attributed to the presence of thorium and uranium. Unfortunately, thorium is retained in the body, and it is radioactive, emitting harmful alpha radiation as it decays. It is radioactive in nature and has the atomic number of 90 and the chemical symbol Th. Thorium is radioactive, but has a very slow rate of decay and the radiation it emits is not absorbed by the body, which means that it can safely be used for some important applications. In the past thorium was also used in the mantles of gas lights to produce intense white light as well as carbon arc lamps. It is silvery white but turns gray or black on exposure to air. Want to know about industrial uses, medical uses and other uses of Thorium and Einsteinium? Thorotrast is a suspension containing particles of the radioactive compound thorium dioxide, ThO 2, that was used as a radiocontrast agent in medical radiography in the 1930s and 1940s. Thorium oxide, also known as thoria, has an extremely high melting point of 3300 degrees Celsius. Want to Know it? Only after conversion to uranium does thorium become useful as a nuclear fuel. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang revealed his climate plan, which includes an endorsement for a nuclear power called thorium. There are natural and man-made forms of thorium, all of which are radioactive. A blue border will appear around the hearts of the player as long as the life shield is active. In order to monitor the incorporation of thorium and uranium by workers and the general public, the European Commission, DG XI, has published an invitation to tender for a study to assess workplaces where such incorporation may occur. Four commercial thorium reactors were constructed, all of which failed. This type of glass is used in camera lenses and scientific equipment. It was formerly in great demand as a component of mantles for gas and kerosene lamps and has been used in the manufacture of tungsten filaments for lightbulbs and vacuum tubes. Copyright © 2017. More than 99% of natural thorium exists in the form of thorium-232. Thorium is a silvery metal with radioactive properties that was discovered in 1828 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius (a Swedish chemist) and was named after Thor (the famous Norse god of thunder).. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. However, lead or depleted uranium are more commonly used in this application. What is Thorium? (Naturally occurring uranium is over 99% uranium-238 with only about 0.7% of the fissile uranium-235.) The periodic table is made up of 118 elements. https://www.britannica.com/science/thorium, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Thorium, Los Alamos National Laboratory's Chemistry Division - Thorium, Australian Government - Geoscience Australia - Thorium, Thorium - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Thorium is a weakly radioactive metallic chemical element with the symbol Th and atomic number 90. A material in optical coatings the uses of thorium was short lived as the main ingredient Thorotrast a... Options it can basically be used as fuel in nuclear power us know if you have a question you search... ( ThF4 ) is used as a contrast agent ( called Thorotrast ) in nuclear reactors the.. Reactors are well suited to thorium and Einsteinium when producing sulfuric acid Th-U ) cycle. 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