Thorium


Lamp filament coatings
Nuclear reactors fuel
Laboratory glass

The most important application of thorium is the production of nuclear power either as metal, oxide or alloy and even in several compounds during the U 233 production process. In the non-energetic uses, the production of gas light mantle and the use of thorium metal for imparting strength to magnesium metal can be included. Due to its low work function and high electron emissivity, has found applications in a number of gaseous discharge lamps, photoelectric cells (when ultraviolet sensitivity is required) and as emitter in monochromatic X-ray tubes.

The oxide has been found useful in a variety of areas. Perhaps the most recent potentially large-scale nonenergy use found for thorium oxide is as hardener of nickel for space and metallurgical industry. Thorium oxide, when properly prepared, is quite active as a catalyst for many chemical processes, like oil fractionizing and sulfuric acid preparation. Its stability at high temperatures allow the use as a coating element for melting crucibles.