Yeah….not only is it cool to look at, but how would you like to ‘fill up’ only once…….in 100 years?
First let’s define thorium: a grayish-white, lustrous, somewhat ductile and malleable, radioactive metallic element present in monazite: used as a source of nuclear energy, as a coating on sun-lamp and vacuum-tube filament coatings, and in alloys. Symbol: Th; atomic weight: 232.038; atomic number: 90; specific gravity: 11.7. (source: dictionary.com)
So basically it’s a radioactive metallic chemical element.
Ok, so Laser Power Systems (LPS) from Connecticut, has been developing a new method of automotive propulsion with one of the most dense materials known in nature: thorium. Because thorium is so dense it has the potential to produce tremendous amounts of heat. The company has been experimenting with small bits of thorium, creating a laser that heats water, produces steam and powers a mini turbine.
The engine currently weighs 500lbs, which can easily fit inside the engine area of their current model. Only one gram of the substance yields more energy than 7,396 gallons (28,000 L) of gasoline and 8 grams would power the typical car for a century!!
So, is thorium the way to go? Well, it’s cheap, abundant and could provide safe, emissions-free power for hundreds of years….however, only “Eight kilograms of uranium-233 can be used for a nuclear weapon,” says Stephen Ashley of the University of Cambridge. The bigger threat is that a country pursuing nuclear energy and nuclear weapons (say, Iran) could make both from thorium. “This technology could have a dual civilian and military use,” Ashley says. (source: Popular Mechanics)
(The primary source of the world’s thorium is the rare-earth-and-thorium-phosphate mineral monazite. Rob Lavinsky/iRocks.com)
ONE MORE THING: (And yes, just in case you were wondering, the element thorium really is named after Thor, the Norse god of thunder. And yes, Norse mythology originated from Norway, where Thor Energy is based. Coincidence, I think not!) source: Sebastian Anthony