How To Create Heavy Water?

Water is a see-through and almost colorless natural substance. It is one of the main sources of life on this planet in the form of oceans, rivers, lakes, and glaciers. You might have heard about heavy water and would have thought at some point or other that what is the difference normal water and heavy water.

What Is Heavy Water?

When it comes to regular water, it is a combination of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms, which makes it H2O. Heavy water also has the same organization apart from the fact that hydrogen atoms are Deuterium, which is an isotope of hydrogen. Deuterium has different chemical properties from hydrogen. The rise in mass of heavy water because of the existence of deuterium provides the heavy water with different chemical and physical properties than ordinary water.

Creation Of Heavy Water

On the planet Earth, HDO (deuterated water) transpires in a natural way in regular water. It exists in water at a ratio of approximately 1 molecule in 3,200. In other words, there is 1 deuterium in 6,400 hydrogen atoms, which means there is 1 part in 3,200 by hydrogen weight. The HDO might be parted from regular water by using distillation or electrolysis, along with several other chemical processes. Creation of heavy water through distillation or electrolysis procedures need electrolysis compartments and uses lots of power. So usually, the chemical methods are more preferable.

How To Create Heavy Water Using Electrolytic Cell Method?

The heavy water is created by isolating it from the heavy water. Normally, it is readied using lengthy electrolysis or slight distillation.

Lengthy Electrolysis Of Ordinary Water:

In this method, a multi-stage electrolysis of the regular water is done which contains alkali.  This procedure contains the cylinder-shaped containers made of steel. They work as cathode. Then there is cylinder-shaped piece of nickel anode, which has many holes perforated into it. The whole electrolysis procedure is done in different stages and a lot of electrolytic cells are used at every stage.

Stage 1 - In first stage 30 electrolytic cells are utilized, with each cell containing 3% of Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). Here, the electrolysis procedure on regular water continues for 72-hrs, using the power of 110 volts. After this process, 1/6th of the initial volume of water is left behind. Gases like hydrogen and oxygen are transformed and discarded. The remaining water contains approximately 2.5 % of heavy water.

Stage 2 - At second stage, 6 electrolytic cells are put into use. Here, the water left from first stage is treated.  Just like first stage, gases leave the solution, and water made is reverted to first stage cell and remaining liquid contains 12% of heavy water.

Stage 3 - Water left from second stage is treated at this stage. Just like first and second stage, the gases are destroyed and water created is returned to the cell at second stage. Here the level of heavy water rises to 60%.

Stage 4 - Here, remains left at the end of the third stage are treated. The gases are destroyed and at this point, remaining liquid contains just about, 99% of heavy water.

Stage 5- After obtaining 99% of heavy water, distillation process is used to remove alkali and other contaminants from that water. At this stage, gases comprising of Deuterium and oxygen are destroyed and 100% of pure heavy water is obtained.
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