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Tritium Separation by Electrolysis Using Solid Polymer Electrolyte

Y. Ogata, Y. Sakuma, N. Ohtani, M. Kotaka

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 48 / Number 1 / July 2005 / Pages 136-139


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Hydrogen isotope separation effect by electrolysis of water was theoretically investigated and was compared with experimental results. The separation mechanism was analyzed as the hydrogen isotope exchange reaction between water and diatomic hydride that consists of hydrogen and cathode material. The equilibrium constants of the isotope exchange reaction were calculated from reduced partition function ratio. Using the constants, the separation factor (SF) of the isotopes was calculated according to the two-phase distribution theory for isotopes. Experimentally, light or heavy water spiked with tritiated water was electrolyzed by a device with a solid polymer electrolyte, which equipped with SUS, Ni, or carbon cathode. Thus, the SFs were experimentally obtained. Calculated SFs were well agreed with the experimentally values for SUS and Ni cathodes, and that for carbon cathode was somewhat small then the experimental value.

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