Skip to comments.U.S. Researcher Preparing Prototype Cars Powered by Heavy-Metal Thorium
Posted on 08/13/2011 7:13:31 PM PDT by Oiao
A U.S. company says it is getting closer to putting prototype electric cars on the road that will be powered by the heavy-metal thorium (Steam Electric 250MW)... with prototype in two years....never needs refueled.
(Excerpt) Read more at wardsauto.com ...
Because thorium is so dense, similar to uranium, it stores considerable potential energy: 1 gm of thorium equals the energy of 7,500 gallons (28,391 L) of gasoline Stevens says. So, using just 8 gm of thorium in a car should mean it would never need refueling.
Hedrick, the industrial minerals expert, says 7,500 gallons is way more gasoline than an average person uses in a year. Switching to thorium-driven cars would make the U.S. energy self-sufficient, and carbon emissions would plummet.
What are they driving, a supertanker?
I used to have a bumper sticker that said “This truck powered by Metallica”.
Best build the heating plants first!
8 gm --> $40.
Maybe not so expensive?
Thorium is what’s going to get astronauts to Mars and beyond.
I wonder how well these nuclear power plants mounted in automobiles will hold together during a collision? The envirowennies will scream about the release of radiation ...
“Thorium is whats going to get astronauts to Mars and beyond.”
I believe you are confusing it with Dilitium Crystals...
The car is nice but I want one in my house. The US should pioneer widespread self generation of electricity. No grid means stable and uninterruptable power. No grid means no transmission loss. The really game changing aspects are that the electric utility monopolies are gone. A retired couple could save up in their working years for a nice 30 year reactor and retire with no electric bill the rest of their lives.
If magically, we wake up tomorrow and very automobile plant in the world is magically making Thorium powered cars, and they cost the same as today's gasoline powered cars, then in 10 years, half the cars on the road will still be burning gasoline. That's the way the real world works. The median age of our vehicles is over 10 years today.
Now, let's inject reality and show why even half of the vehicles won't be thorium powered 10 years from today. Here are the reasons:
There is a vast cottage industry built around over-regulation and envirowhakoism. Anything that negates their existence is doomed to failure.
"Three megawatt hours of electricity would be required for an electric car to travel 12,000 miles a year."
Me too! I’m still waiting for the home nuke plant the size of a cooler we were all sposed to have in our basements by now, generating free electricity.
But if they need to test drive this thing, I suggest they go run Algore down with it.
Heard some interesting stuff on a company touting thorium electrical generating plants the other day. Seems the research was done at Oak Ridge, but was written off because you couldn’t build nuclear weapons from it. Sounded promising
I want one for my home too.
No, you’re the confused one. Dilithium Crystals are what make Folgers’ such good coffee (grin)
Thorium doesn't need to be mixed by hand in an emergency...
They must mean KW, in which case it would correspond 1.34x250= 335 HP.
For God’s sake man, I’m a Doctor, not a magician...””
Uranium could have gotten us there in the 1970's. NASA had developed a successful nuclear upper stage engine.
These days they are looking at developing a plasma engine that could get us there in two months.
250MW should be sufficient to power a medium sized city
lets say, about 200,000 people
Agree. Thought the MW was out there too.
To put the 250 MW in more common engine terms, that would be 335,000 horsepower.
Because thorium is so dense, similar to uranium, it stores considerable potential energy:
I call BS. Density isn't related to potential nuclear energy. Also thorium has a density of 11.72 g/cm3. Compare that to uranium at 18.95 g/cm3. Other common elements are lead at 11.342 g/cm3, gold at 19.282 g/cm3 and tungsten with 19.25 g/cm3.
“Heard some interesting stuff on a company touting thorium electrical generating plants the other day. Seems the research was done at Oak Ridge, but was written off because you couldnt build nuclear weapons from it. Sounded promising”
Thats what ,I read and this technology was not used,The Chinese are basing their next generation of power plants on this and expect to have some online in 5 years, Now we will watch them go after the thorium supplies.
the energy process, as described in the article, seems relatively straightforward. heat from the thorium powers a laser that turns water into steam for a turbine. There’s little radiocativity, aluminum foil is a thick enough shield, per the article.
It’s not encouraging when
an article on an engineering breakthrough
gets their units wrong...
Now that makes sense.
LOLOL (Lots Of Laugh Out Louds)! Humorous and informative thread. Thanks to every poster.
Potential GRRRRREAT news BUMP!
Thorium is much less of a risk than uranium. The “fear” had to do with a misfire that would have had that upperstage crashing back to Earth on somebody with some hot stuff.
TIG electrodes are 2% thorium, and there about $6 ea... Many car headlights have 1% thorium in the filaments. As far as I know it’s not ever recycled...
Doesn’t sound expensive to me.
Or the NASA probe that splattered all over the surface of Mars?
Both the result of the wrong UOMs being used.
India just brought a thorium reactor online. We should be leading the way on this. We invented it at Oak Ridge back in the 1950’s.
I think you're right. Most likely this company is running a scam.
LOL. It kinda looks like a “car of the future” from the 1950’s. Fins and all.
Challenger really spooked them. That was the day I realized the basic premise of Space:1999 was never going to happen.
The original purchase price of a horse is the cheapest part. From that point forward they’ll gallup you to bankruptcy court.
if it saves almost the entire weight of the engine,
they can afford to give it great protection.
...and some of the natural gas and hydrogen have it stored under HUGE pressures. could probably use those designs almost stock for the protection design.
and it’s a small amount of thorium. should be easy.
and $100 of thorium to replace a LIFETIME of gas ?!?
a barrel of oil would drop to $50, and break the backs of the Muslim oil companies overnight. (and Russia...)
and talk about stimulating the economy !!!
the cost to business with big transportation costs...
not to mention giving EVERY family with a car,
a HUGE increase in discretionary income...
it would create immediate demand for products,
causing an immediate increase in hiring.
which is precisely why Obama would NEVER support this!
this low pollution energy independence that creates jobs,
is the exact opposite of what his vested interests want.
I found this comment on one of the website reporting on this to be more credible than the claim:
“What utter twaddle....this has scam written all over it.
First, Thorium isn’t a material known to lase - and “heat surges” (whatever they may be) are nothng to do with lasing. Nor is persuading a material to lase a net creator of energy - the total energy of the emitted photons will always be less than the energy required for “pumping” - in fact, most lasers are extremely inefficient, converting at best a small percentage of the energy input.
Second, stimulating alpha and beta emissions/decay isn’t something you can achieve by doing anything to do with lasers - nor do alpha or beta particles play any part in a nuclear chain reaction (neither is absorbed by other nuclei). That requires neutrons and fission reactions.
There are about a dozen other obvious gaping holes in this (work out, for example just how much surface area you’d need to remove 250MW of heat from this unit at (say) 700-800C - then compare it to the surface area available in the “car engine” sized unit). For comparison, the gas-turbine engines used in Concorde produced about 37MW each.
For a website that claims to be looking at what engineers come up with, you don’t seem to have applied even the smallest amount of the sort of analysis that an actual engineer would immediately think of.”
I think this is even less credible than Rossi’s cold fusion claims.
“India just brought a thorium reactor online. We should be leading the way on this. We invented it at Oak Ridge back in the 1950s.”
This is disgusting,we were fed the “Too cheap to meter” Crapola back in the day and the world uses our technology while we pay through the nose for windmills and assorted Garbage!
No sweat.... They will make em out of the same crap the FAA uses in the flight recorder aka black box.
Invest in unobtanium NOW !