This paper presents a program to simulate performance of a liquid phase catalytic exchange (LPCE) column of a water detritiation facility based on combined electrolysis and catalytic exchange (CECE) technology over a wide range of deuterium contents in a feed stream. The program uses rate constants of the chemical isotopic exchange reactions between gaseous hydrogen and water vapor occurring on a hydrophobic catalyst and the mass transfer rate between water vapor and the film of liquid water on packing material in the LPCE column, which have been measured experimentally using a specially developed method and at a low concentration of deuterium in a three-isotope mixture. The effect of the deuterium presence on the kinetics of isotopic exchange reactions and the performance of the LPCE column are taken into account considering several possible mechanisms that can control the overall rate of reaction. Selection of the most suitable mechanism was carried out by comparing the simulations with the results of an experimental test with a large deuterium content.

The simulation program allows calculation of isotope profiles in streams of liquid water, water vapor, and gaseous hydrogen along the LPCE column over a very wide range of isotopic compositions and for CECE facilities of several different layouts.