Thorium Market: Overview
- Thorium (Th) is a radioactive material with atomic number 90. Thorium is found as a single isotopic form (Th-232) that decays slowly. It is three to four times more abundant than uranium and found across the globe.
- Thorium is majorly sourced from Monazite, a rare earth phosphate mineral. Monazite contains around 12% thorium phosphate. It is concentrated in solidified lava and other forms of rocks.
- Thorium is one of the most energy dense element found in nature. The direct use of thorium in a thermal neutron reactor is not possible due to its non-fissile nature. However, after absorption of a neutron, it transmutes to an excellent fissile fuel material, uranium-233.
- It is a safe, clean, scalable, and affordable source to produce nuclear fuel for nuclear reactor. Energy produced from thorium is proliferation resistant. Thorium fuel is used in seven types of reactors: heavy water reactors (HWR), high-temperature gas-cooled reactors, boiling water reactors (BWR), pressurized (light) water reactors, fast neutron reactors, molten salt reactors (MSR), and accelerator driven reactors (ADR).
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Key Drivers of Global Thorium Market
- Demand for clean, safe, and affordable source of nuclear energy is driving the global thorium market. Thorium is used to produce fuel for nuclear reactors to generate nuclear energy. This is likely to provide growth opportunities to the global thorium market.
- Thorium has reservoirs across the globe. Thorium-based reactors are safer than uranium reactors, as they can be easily stopped and do not required extreme pressure for operation. It yields more energy per tons and produces less radioactive waste.
- Thorium is widely used in the manufacturing of refractory materials, scientific instruments, gas mantles, lanterns, welding, heat-resistant paints, and jet engines. It is also used to manufacture high-quality camera lenses, as it increase the refractive index in glass. Increase in applications of thorium in various industries is projected to drive the global thorium market.
Powder Form Segment of Global Thorium Market to Witness Significant Growth Opportunities
- In terms of form, the global thorium market can be divided into granular and powder
- Thorium is extracted from various minerals such as monazite, thorite, and thorianite. It is available in powder and granular forms. Thorium powder is extremely flammable and spontaneously ignites in the air due to its pyrophoric nature.
- Thorium powder is widely used in the manufacturing of refractory materials, heat-resistant paints, ceramic, and glass
Nuclear Reactor Application Segment to Lead Global Thorium Market
- Based on application, the global thorium market can be divided into gas mantles, electronic equipment coating, refractory material manufacturing, camera lens/scientific instrument, nuclear reactor, heat resistant ceramics, and others
- Nuclear reactor is anticipated to be the major application segment of the global thorium market, owing to the growing demand for nuclear energy. Thorium is utilized in the production of nuclear fuel used in nuclear reactor to produce energy. Rise in demand for an alternative to uranium-based fuel is a key factor driving the global thorium market.
- Refractory material manufacturing is estimated to be the second largest segment of the global thorium market
Asia Pacific a Key Market for Thorium
- In terms of region, the global thorium market can be segmented into: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- Asia Pacific is expected to account for a notable share of the global thorium market during the forecast period. Asia Pacific countries, such as India and China, hold abundant thorium reserves. India is focusing on utilization thorium on a large scale to produce nuclear energy due to its widespread availability and low prices compared to uranium.
- The thorium market in Latin America is estimated to expand considerably due to the increase in demand for nuclear energy in the region. Furthermore, this market in Middle East & Africa is projected to exhibit sluggish growth during the forecast period.
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Key Manufacturers Operating in Global Thorium Market
The global thorium market is fragmented with presence of several global and regional players. Key manufacturers operating in the global market include:
- STL Nuclear (Pty) Ltd
- ARAFURA Resources
- Hastings Rare Metals Limited
- Capital Mining Limited
- Blackwood Corporation Limited
- Crossland Uranium Mines Limited
- Kimberley Rare Earths Metal Limited
- Navigator Resources Limited
- Western Desert Resources Limited
- American Elements
- Cameco Corp.
- Unity Energy Corp.
- Spectrum Chemical Manufacturing Corp.
- Mil-Spec Industries Corporation.
- Materion Corporation
- Inorganic Ventures
Global Thorium Market: Research Scope
Global Thorium Market, by Form
Global Thorium Market, by Application
- Gas Mantles
- Electronic Equipment Coating
- Refractory Material Manufacturing
- Camera Lens/Scientific Instrument
- Nuclear Reactor
- Heat Resistant Ceramics
- Others (Toothpaste, Lanterns, Welding, Gas lamps, Jet Engines, etc.)
Global Thorium Market, by Region
- North America
- Russia & CIS
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
- South Africa
- Rest of Middle East & Africa
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