Industrytap has a great story on a new venture into Thorium powered vehicles. Vehicle sales continue to grow throughout the globe along with the cost of energy to power those vehicles. Laser Power Systems (LPS) from Connecticut is currently working with Thorium which they say can power a vehicle (cleanly) for 100 years on just 8 grams of fuel. Before we go on let’s pull a little info from Wikipedia on Thorium.
Thorium is a naturally occurring radioactive chemical element with the symbol Th and atomic number 90. It was discovered in 1828 by the Norwegian mineralogist Morten Thrane Esmark and identified by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius and named afterThor, the Norse god of thunder.
Thorium produces a radioactive gas, radon-220, as one of its decay products. Secondary decay products of thorium include radiumand actinium. In nature, virtually all thorium is found as thorium-232, which undergoes alpha decay with a half-life of about 14.05billion years. Other isotopes of thorium are short-lived intermediates in the decay chains of higher elements, and only found in trace amounts. Thorium is estimated to be about three to four times more abundant than uranium in the Earth’s crust, and is chiefly refined from monazite sands as a by-product of extracting rare earth metals.
Because of the density of Thorium it generates a lot of heat which is where the power is generated. LPS is working with mini turbine engines and very small amounts of Thorium to see if this would be feasible in production vehicles. Head over to Industrytap for the full story at the link below.