Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 48 / Number 1 / July 2005 / Pages 132-135
Technical Paper / Tritium Science and Technology - Tritium Science and Technology - Detritiation, Purification, and Isotope Separation
At the National Institute for Fusion Science experimental studies on hydrogen isotope separation by a Combined Electrolysis Catalytic Exchange (CECE) process have been carried out in order to apply it to the system of water detritiation for D-D burning experiments of the Large Helical Device. As an improvement of the CECE process, we have developed a reduced-pressure method as a means of enhancing the separation factor. The feasibility of this method is examined through application to a CECE process using a prototype separation column. Hydrogen-deuterium isotope separation experiments are performed in the two cases where column pressures are 12 and 101 kPa, and the separation factors for hydrogen and deuterium are obtained as 6.8 and 5.6, respectively. It is confirmed that the present method is applicable and useful to the CECE process. The values of Height Equivalent to a Theoretical Plate (HETP) are estimated by analyses with the equilibrium stage model. The HETP values are 15 cm at 12 kPa and 13 cm at 101 kPa. The increase of superficial velocity with decreasing pressure may spoil the efficiency of the mass transfer.