December 10, 2020. Thorium-232 first absorbs a neutron, creating thorium-233, which decays to protactium-233 over the course of about four hours. Pure thorium metal is an air-stable silvery white which can retain its luster for months. Too much thorium exposure can cause lead to lung disease, lung and pancreatic cancer, alter genetics, liver disease, bone cancer, and metal poisoning, according to Lenntech. The oxide is used to make lab crucibles and glass with a low dispersion and high index of refraction. It is an alpha emitter that goes through six alpha and four beta decay steps to become the stable isotope Pb-208. Thorium contaminated by its oxide will slowly tarnish to gray and finally black. ; In 1828, Berzelius received a sample of a black mineral found on Løvø Island off the coast of Norway by Hans Morten Thrane Esmark, a Norwegian mineralogist. Thorium may be recovered from monzonite, which contains 3-9% ThO2 associated with other rare earths. Physical Properties of the Element Chromium, Europium Facts - Element Atomic Number 63, Xenon Facts (Atomic Number 54 and Element Symbol Xe), Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College. New York, Almost all naturally occurring thorium exists in the form of either radioactive isotope thorium-232, thorium-230, and thorium-228. Thorium metals appearance (silvery white, soft) is somewhat similar to Lead metal. Protactium-233 slowly decays to uranium-233 over the course of about ten months. The size of Thorium, about the size of a large apple, can produce 8,000 years of electricity for a person yearly. In 1815, Jöns Jakob Berzelius, a Swedish chemist, first thought he had discovered a new Earth element, which he named thorium after Thor, the Norse god of war, according to Peter van der Krogt, a Dutch historian. NY 10036. 41 . It costs $150 per ounce! The mineral contained a large number of known elements including iron, manganese, lead, tin and uraniumplus another substance Berzelius could not identify. Still, if you like reading about science and technology, it's fun, and it's a quick, light, well-explained introduction to the subject. The mineral contained nearly 60 percent of an unknown element, which took over the name thorium; the mineral was named thorite. Thorium cannot be used to make atomic weapons. Thorium was discovered by Jöns Jacob Berzelius in 1828, in Stockholm, Sweden after he received a sample of an unusual black mineral from Hans Esmark found on an island close to Brevik, Norway. It can be hammered, rolled, bent, cut, shaped, and welded rather easily. 1 Facts 1.1 Interesting Facts Thorium metal is used as an alternate option over Uranium for nuclear fuel. It is not highly radioactive. 9. 13) Thorium only the government DOE could screw it up The people had to pay at $3.30 or $8.10 for one pound quantities of the oxides based on the price list released on 1 October 1958. Protactinium and thorium have very similar chemical properties and appear to be precipitated at the same rates in marine sediments. It’s worth noting that thorium and uranium have an interesting relationship in that they are complements and competitors to each other. 3. Berzelius isolated thorium by first mixing thorium oxide found in the mineral with carbon to create thorium chloride, which was then reacted with potassium to yield thorium and potassium chloride, according to Chemicool. Because glass is an insulator other electrons can't easily move in to fill the hole, and a so-called color center is formed, in which the missing electron allows light to be absorbed in a previously transparent substance. Thorium is very ductile in pure form and can be forged easily. 0 . It has a high melting point of 1750 degree centigrade and a fifth highest boiling point (of 4788°C) amongst the know… The program stopped in 1961 in favor of other technologies. 1 decade ago. It is malleable and its bulk modulus is same as that of tin. Many scientists believe that thorium would make a good nuclear fuel because it makes much less waste and is four times as common as uranium. Element Classification: Radioactive Rare Earth (Actinide), Appearance: gray, soft, malleable, ductile, radioactive metal, References: Los Alamos National Laboratory (2001), Crescent Chemical Company (2001), Lange's Handbook of Chemistry (1952), CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics (18th Ed.). Anton Eduard van Arkel and Jan Handrik de Boer, both Dutch chemists, isolated high purity metalic thorium in 1925, according to Los Alamos National Laboratory.Â. In 1758, Swedish chemist and mineralogist A.F. At that time, weapons-grade plutonium, as well as uranium, was a hot commodity due to the Cold War. 2. LPT Specials. There was a problem. 5 Life Pro Tips of the Week – Part 245 According to an article from the Royal Society of Chemistry, thorium used in nuclear reactors provide many benefits over using uranium: According to a 2009 paper by NASA researchers Albert J. Juhasz, Richard A. Rarick, and Rajmohan Rangarajan, thorium reactors were developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1950s under the direction of Alvin Weinberg for supporting nuclear aircraft programs. It is found in small amounts in most rocks and soils, where it is about three times more abundant than uranium. The low work function and high electron emission make thorium useful for coating tungsten wire used in electronic equipment. Therefore, it was spotted in pyrophoric ferrocerium alloy. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, Thor's Battle Against the Jötnar (1872) by MÃ¥rten Eskil Winge, Atomic information and electron configuration of thorium, (Image credit: Andrei Marincas/Shutterstock; BlueRingMedia/Shutterstock), Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Thorium: The Winder Fuel That Wasn't, Archaeologists find vast network of Amazon villages laid out like the cosmos, How to watch the northern lights across far northern US tonight, The strange story of how nuns uncovered 'House of Jesus' in Nazareth, Bees defeat 'murder hornet' relatives with poop, Sprawling 8-mile-long 'canvas' of ice age beasts discovered hidden in Amazon rainforest, Gold coin stash from time of Henry VIII found in English garden, Atomic number (number of protons in the nucleus): 90, Atomic symbol (on the Periodic Table of Elements): Th, Atomic weight (average mass of the atom): 232.0, Density: 6.8 ounces per cubic inch (11.7 grams per cubic cm), Melting point: 3,182 degrees Fahrenheit (1,750 degrees Celsius). Thorium is named for Thor, the Norse god of thunder. Because of this, scientists are working on new technolog… Anonymous. Cronsteat discovered a mineral, which he called “tungsten”, which means “heavy stone” in Swedish. Source(s): interesting facts thorium: https://shortly.im/OaL2b. Thorium is more easily extracted than uranium. As Tom Zoellner writes in Uranium: … Thorium is alloyed with magnesium to impart creep resistance and high strength at elevated temperatures. Charged particles shot out when the thorium decays knock electrons out of place in the glass. Thorium belongs to actinide series in the periodic table. In its liquid state, thorium has a greater temperature range than any other element, with nearly 5,500 degrees Fahrenheit (3,000 degrees Celsius) between melting and boiling points, according to Chemicool. Thorium itself is not used for nuclear fuel, but it is used to create the artificial uranium isotope uranium-233, according to the NASA report. Thorium was discovered by Jöns Jakob Berzelius in 1829. Properties: . 10) Veterans of Foreign Wars for Thorium. 11) “Bread, the best thing since sliced thorium” 12) Thorium for president, it is the best candidate to come along in decades. Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealand physicist, and Frederick Soddy, an English chemist, discovered that thorium decays at a fixed rate into other elements, also known as the half-life of an element, according to Los Alamos National Laboratory. Sources: Thorium is found in thorite (ThSiO4) and thorianite (ThO2 + UO2). Powdered thorium is pyrophoric and must be handled with care. 30 Interesting Facts of the Day Admin. The internal heat of the earth is largely attributed to the presence of thorium and uranium. The history of tungsten can be traced back to the 17th century. Thorium is a naturally occurring radioactive metal that is found at low levels in soil, rocks, water, plants, and animals. It has a melting point of about 1,800 ° C (3,300 ° F) and a boiling point of about 4,500 ° C (8,100 ° F). 0 0. Please refresh the page and try again. It is found in small amounts in rocks and soils. In most places, true; but some countries, like China, have more uranium than thorium. Unabashedly pro-thorium, pro-LFTR propaganda by a former Wired writer who jokes that at the magazine every article had to have the word revolutionary in it, and then calls thorium "revolutionary." 6 interesting facts about thorium 1. The atomic masses range from 223 to 234. Rather, it is found in different minerals, such as monazite, thorite, uranothorite, and thorianite. Thorium is cheaper, easier to get, and far more abundant than uranium, and it will last us tens of thousands of years. Thorium is also used for portable gas lights. 1. Thorium has huge potential for use as nuclear fuel in breeder reactors, especially since its chief isotope is "breedable" but is not useful for nuclear weapons. He called the blac… Radioactive decay of uranium and thorium produces about 3000 metric tons of helium a year.9. You will receive a verification email shortly. Thorium was discovered (1828) by Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius. Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today. Visit our corporate site. Protactinium-231–thorium-230 dating, method of age determination that makes use of the quantities of certain protactinium and thorium isotopes in a marine sediment. Thorium and uranium are involved in the heating of Earth's interior, according to. Liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTR) have very little waste compared with reactors powered by uranium. 25% of Thorium is found in the country of India! According to Los Alamos, thorium is created in the cores of supernovae and then scattered across the galaxy during the explosions. In nature, thorium can be found in multiple places, including soil, water, and organisms. According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, thorium reactors were abandoned because they did not produce as much plutonium as uranium-powered reactors. The oxide is also used as a catalyst in converting ammonia to nitric acid, in producing sulfuric acid, and in petroleum cracking. LFTRs run at atmospheric pressure instead of 150 to 160 times atmospheric pressure currently needed. It is silvery white but turns gray or black on exposure to air. Gerhard Schmidt, a German chemist, and Marie Curie, a Polish physicist, independently discovered that thorium was radioactive in 1898 within a couple months of each other, according to Chemicool. Shares. ... Radioactive decay of uranium and thorium produces about 3000 metric tons of helium a year. Thorium is a chemical element with symbol Th and atomic number 90. The actinide series is named for element 89, actinium, which is sometimes included in the actinide … Below is a list of Creative Thorium slogans for chemistry assignments, science projects & project presentations. Thorium disintegrates to produce radon gas, an alpha emitter and radiation hazard, so areas where thorium is stored or handled require good ventilation. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Thorium is very insoluble, which is why it is plentiful in sands but not in seawater, in contrast to uranium. In fact, uranium, another actinide metal, has similar characteristics to thorium, but thorium appears more in nature than uranium. Here are 11 interesting facts about helium, the most noble of the noble gases. Thorium had been used since 1885 in gas mantles, which provide the light in gas lamps, according to Los Alamos. Atomic Number: 69 Atomic Symbol: Tm Atomic Weight: 168.93421 Melting Point: 2,813 F … Thorium is about as abundant as lead and at least three times as abundant as uranium, according to Lenntech. The most stable isotope of thorium, Th-232, has a half-life of 14 billion years, according to the EPA. Other Interesting Protactinium Facts In solution, the +5 oxidation state quickly combines with hydroxide ions to form (radioactive) hydroxy-oxide solids that stick to the surface of the container. It has the atomic number 90. Thorium is a bright silvery metal and corrodes to black when exposed to air. Heating thorium turnings in air will cause them to ignite and burn with a brilliant white light. It is found in nature, especially in India, the United States, and Australia. While originally isolated from uranium ores, today protactinium is made as a fission intermediate in thorium high-temperature nuclear reactors. It does not readily dissolve in most acids, except hydrochloric acid. Isotopes: All of the isotopes of thorium are unstable. Most common isotopes: Th-232 (100 percent of natural abundance), In its liquid state, thorium has a greater temperature range than any other element, with nearly 5,500 degrees Fahrenheit (3,000 degrees Celsius) between melting and boiling points, according to, Thorium dioxide has the highest melting point of all known oxides, according to, Thorium is about as abundant as lead and at least three times as abundant as uranium, according to, The abundance of thorium in Earth's crust is 6 parts per million by weight, according to, Thorium is mainly mined in Australia, Canada, the United States, Russia and India, according to, Trace levels of thorium are found in rocks, soil, water, plants and animals, according to the, Higher concentrations of thorium are typically found in minerals such as thorite, thorianite, monazite, allanite, and zircon, according to. Thorium fun facts - on the ultimate human energy source Thorium-232 is the only primordial isotope of thorium and makes up effectively all of natural thorium. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. Thorium (Th), radioactive chemical element of the actinoid series of the periodic table, atomic number 90; it is a useful nuclear reactor fuel. One ton of Thorium can actually produce as much energy as 200 tons of Uranium! jazz. The mineral also contained many known elements, including iron, manganese, lead, tin, and uranium, according to Chemicool. Cerium was used for the lighter flints traditionally. What are some cooking tips everyone should know? Thorium metal can be obtained by reducing thorium oxide with calcium, by reduction of thorium tetrachloride with an alkali metal, by electrolysis of anhydrous thorium chloride in a fused mixture of potassium and sodium chlorides, or by reduction of thorium tetrachloride with anhydrous zinc chloride. Facts about Cerium 9: the price. Thorium is attacked slowly by water. Properties: Thorium has a melting point of 1750°C, boiling point ~4790°C, specific gravity of 11.72, with a valence of +4 and sometimes +2 or +3. The chemical compounds formed by it mostly contain it in the oxidation state +5, though its occurrence in … Uranium-233 is then used in nuclear reactors as fuel. Current world production of helium is over 30 000 metric tons a year. IT'S HIGHLY UNSTABLE. Thorium is less dense when compared to its nearby elements, for instance, uranium. Thorium is a naturally-occurring, slightly radioactive metal discovered in 1828 by the Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius, who named it after Thor, the Norse god of thunder. AskReaders Specials. According to Lenntech, thorium was used in toothpaste until radioactivity dangers were discovered. 0 0. 9) Got Thorium? Thorium’s physical properties are strongly influenced by how much it is contaminated with oxide. The radiation of thorium has an intensity of the same order as that of uranium, and is, as in the case of uranium, an atomic property of the element. It is about three times more abundant than uranium and about as common as lead. Both true and false, depending on what part of the world you're talking about. It makes a face centred cubic crystal structure at room temperature. There are more than 10 other thorium isotopes that can be artificially produced. The melting point of thorium oxide is 3300°C, which is the highest melting point of the oxides. It has a half life of 14 billion years, and is thus only slightly radioactive. Thorium is used in nuclear bombs and atom bombs. 8) Super Thorium, it eats pollution, produces abundant energy, and stops wars. Due to its radioactivity, the element has been replaced by other nonradioactive rare-earth elements. By Live Science Staff 24 July 2013. 4. Thorium is radioactive and decays at a fixed rate into a series of other elements. Other uses for thorium include heat-resistant ceramics, aircraft engines, and in light bulbs, according to Chemicool. They can also be used for Thorium advertisement and marketing. This work was critical in furthering the understanding of other radioactive elements. Thorium is a naturally occurring radioactive element which undergoes alpha decay. 10 Interesting Facts about Element 2. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. Uranium's size creates instability. Fun Facts - Thorium. Facts about Cerium 10: the traditional usage of cerium. About 25% of the world's thorium is found in India. Schmidt is often credited with the discovery. Thorium has a melting point of 1750°C, boiling point ~4790°C, specific gravity of 11.72, … Thorium breeders have interesting potential not only to provide another fuel source many times more abundant than U-235 (which comprises only 0.7% of raw uranium), but also because of anti-proliferation qualities. Thorium is estimated to be about three to four times more abundant than uranium in the Earth’s crust (9.6 ppm Th, 2.7 ppm U), and is chiefly refined from monazite sands as a by-product of extracting rare earth metals. Thank you for signing up to Live Science. You can find out much more on our main helium page. Uses: Thorium is used as a nuclear power source. It was necessary at this point to find a new term to define this new property of matter manifested by the elements of uranium and thorium. December 9, 2020. Facts About Thulium. Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Discovery: Jons Jacob Berzelius 1828 (Sweden), Word Origin: Named for Thor, the Norse god of war and thunder. Thorium oxide is used as the mantle material in gas camping lanterns. Thorium was discovered as an element in 1928 by Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius. Thorium is dimorphic, going from a cubic structure to a body-centered cubic structure at 1400°C. In 1824, however, it was determined that the mineral was in fact yttrium phosphate. A great deal of research is going into using thorium as a nuclear fuel. They these ores some German nicknames: “wolfert”, and “wolfrahm”. There are also at least 8 radioactive isotopes created in a lab. Thorium exists in nature in a single isotopic form – T… Th-232 occurs naturally, with a half-life of 1.41 x 1010 years. Named for the Norse god of thunder, thorium is a silvery, lustrous and radioactive element with potential as an alternative to uranium in fueling nuclear reactors.Â. The physical properties of the metal are highly dependent on the amount of oxide that is present. Thorium is named for Thor, the Norse god of thunder. Its general physical properties are somewhat similar to those of lead. In 1781, the Swedish chemis… Most often, it is not found as a pure element. Soil contains an average of around 6 parts per million (ppm) of thorium. At that time, miners in Germany noticed that some ore would interfere with the reduction of cassiterite and produce slag. Thorium is three to four times more abundant than uranium. Pure thorium is soft, very ductile, and capable of being drawn, swaged, and cold-rolled. 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