|Origin of Name||Named after Thor, Scandinavian god of war.|
|Discovery Credits||J. J Berzelisu at Stockholm, Sweden..|
|Standard State||Solid at 77 F & 298 K|
|Description||Radioactive silvery metal. Metal protected by oxide coating. Attached by steam and slowly by acids. Metal itself is soft an
ductile but alloys can be strong. Used in refractory materials, nuclear fuel elements, and incandescent gas mantles.
Thorium is usually associated with the rare earth elements and use complicated schemes to identify the element. Basically, the rare earths and thorium are precipitated as hydroxides from acid solutions. The precipitate is dissolved in HCl and precipitated as insoluble oxalates, washed, filtered and ignited to the oxides. The oxide is dissolved in H2SO4 and ignited to dryness. Dissolve the sulphates in water and precipitate Th using boiling sodium thiosulfate solution. Repeat the thiosulfate step if necessary to eliminate excess Ce, Zr, and Hf.
Infusible thorium minerals glow with exaggerated incandescence in the flame test (along with Sr, Mg, Zr, Zn, Ca - the "lime light effect").
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