Thorium is an abundant element found throughout the earth’s crust. There is enough of it to power the world at its current energy level for over 1,000 years, according to the Thorium Energy Alliance.
It is used to make ceramics, welding rods, camera and telescope lenses, fire brick, heat resistant paint and metals used in the aerospace industry. It is also used in nuclear reactions.
The high melting point of thorium makes it a potential nuclear fuel. It is a safer option than uranium, as it does not need to be cooled like uranium.
Currently, thorium is used in light bulbs and camera lenses as it creates a quality refractive glass. It is also used in some forms of arc-light lamps and welding electrodes, as it resists oxidation.
Because thorium has a very high melting point, it is also useful in other areas such as metallurgy. It is used to produce high-quality alloys, and can be alloyed with iron, zinc and titanium for corrosion resistance.
Another use is as a conductive agent, allowing electric wires to be insulated. This can be done by dipping them in thorium, or incorporating it into the wire itself.
Thorium has many other uses, such as a catalyst for making carbon dioxide into liquid oxygen. It is also used as a radioactive material to create high-quality radioactive glass and can be used in some types of ceramics.
As more countries around the world are embracing nuclear energy, it is worth considering whether thorium might be an alternative to uranium. This could help the world transition away from fossil fuels, while also producing clean energy.