<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

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

how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Hydrogen. OpenStax CNX. Sep 28, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10984/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Hydrogen' conversation and receive update notifications?