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Hydrogen has three isotopes ( [link] ) and unlike other elements these are given special names to differentiate then from the most abundant isotope. Tritium is radioactive with a half life of about 10 years.

Summary of isotopes of hydrogen.
Isotope Hydrogen-1 Hydrogen-2 Hydrogen-3
Special name Hydrogen Deuterium Tritium
Symbol H D T
Atomic number 1 1 1
Number of neutrons 0 1 2
Mass number 1 2 3
Natural abundance 99.9844% 0.0156% very small

Synthesis of deuterium compounds

Electrolysis of water

The electrolysis of hydrogen-1 water (H 2 O) in the presence of an alkali results in the formation of hydrogen and oxygen.

In a similar manner the hydrolysis of deuterated water (D 2 O) yields deuterium and oxygen.

However, the rate of electrolysis of D 2 O is slightly slower than that of H 2 O. Thus, the partial hydrolysis of water with a mixture of natural isotopes results in the slight enrichment of the water with D 2 O. The level of enrichment in one step is less than 1%. In order to obtain high levels of D 2 O (e.g., ca. 30%) it is necessary to reduce the original volume of water by 1/100,000 th .

Chemical equilibrium

Proton exchange reactions can be used to enrich compounds in deuterium. For example, the reaction of HSD with water shown in [link] has a slight preference for the formation of H 2 S, i.e., K eq = 1.012. Thus, bubbling HSD through water results in the enrichment of the water in HOD. However, about 30% enrichment is about the best that can be achieved by this method.

Fractional distillation

The boiling point of H 2 O is (by definition) 100 °C, in contrast the boiling point of D 2 O is 101.4 °C. Thus, it is possible to separate H 2 O from D 2 O by fractional distillation. This method provides the most suitable route to high isotopic enrichment and D 2 O of 99.8% can be produced this way.

The term heavy water is used for D 2 O of greater than 99.8% enrichment.

Uses of deuterium compounds

Possible nuclear fusion

The largest use of D 2 O is as a moderator and heat exchanger for fission nuclear reactors, however, the biggest potential application will be if nuclear fusion is realized as a commercial process.

The fusion of two deuterium atoms to form a helium atom and energy would be one source of energy, [link] , however, deuterium-tritium fusion is the most promising, [link] .

The deuterium part of the fuel does not pose a great problem because about 1 part in 5000 of the hydrogen in seawater is deuterium. This amounts to an estimate that there is over 10 15 tons of deuterium in the oceans. The tritium part of the fuel is more problematic since there is no significant natural source ( [link] ), and the tritium would have to be obtained by breeding the tritium from lithium.

Since a gallon of seawater could produce as much energy as 300 gallons of gasoline, there is clearly a large amount of energy that can potentially be realized through nuclear fusion. Unfortunately, this advantage is also a disadvantage since the temperatures attained are similar to the surface of the sun, which would vaporize any conventional container. Fusion experiments therefore use a magnetic field to contain the reaction. The shape of the field is like a bottle, hence the term “magnetic bottle”.

Questions & Answers

explain and give four Example hyperbolic function
Lukman Reply
The denominator of a certain fraction is 9 more than the numerator. If 6 is added to both terms of the fraction, the value of the fraction becomes 2/3. Find the original fraction. 2. The sum of the least and greatest of 3 consecutive integers is 60. What are the valu
1. x + 6 2 -------------- = _ x + 9 + 6 3 x + 6 3 ----------- x -- (cross multiply) x + 15 2 3(x + 6) = 2(x + 15) 3x + 18 = 2x + 30 (-2x from both) x + 18 = 30 (-18 from both) x = 12 Test: 12 + 6 18 2 -------------- = --- = --- 12 + 9 + 6 27 3
2. (x) + (x + 2) = 60 2x + 2 = 60 2x = 58 x = 29 29, 30, & 31
on number 2 question How did you got 2x +2
combine like terms. x + x + 2 is same as 2x + 2
Mark and Don are planning to sell each of their marble collections at a garage sale. If Don has 1 more than 3 times the number of marbles Mark has, how many does each boy have to sell if the total number of marbles is 113?
mariel Reply
Mark = x,. Don = 3x + 1 x + 3x + 1 = 113 4x = 112, x = 28 Mark = 28, Don = 85, 28 + 85 = 113
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find the value of 2x=32
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divide by 2 on each side of the equal sign to solve for x
Want to review on complex number 1.What are complex number 2.How to solve complex number problems.
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use the y -intercept and slope to sketch the graph of the equation y=6x
Only Reply
how do we prove the quadratic formular
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Tric Reply
x-2y+3z=-3 2x-y+z=7 -x+3y-z=6
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Solve for the first variable in one of the equations, then substitute the result into the other equation. Point For: (6111,4111,−411)(6111,4111,-411) Equation Form: x=6111,y=4111,z=−411x=6111,y=4111,z=-411
x=61/11 y=41/11 z=−4/11 x=61/11 y=41/11 z=-4/11
Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
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what is the coefficient of -4×
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the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
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why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
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. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
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Source:  OpenStax, Hydrogen. OpenStax CNX. Sep 28, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10984/1.4
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