Hydrogen isotope MicroChemLab FY15.
We have developed a new method to measure the composition of gaseous mixtures of any two hydrogen isotopes, as well as an inert gas component. When tritium is one of those hydrogen isotopes, there is usually some helium present, because the tritium decays to form helium at a rate of about 1% every 2 months. The usual way of measuring composition of these mixtures involves mass spectrometry, which involves bulky, energy-intensive, expensive instruments, including vacuum pumps that can quite undesirably disperse tritium. Our approach uses calorimetry of a small quantity of hydrogen-absorbing material to determine gas composition without consuming or dispersing the analytes. Our work was a proof of principle using a rather large and slow benchtop calorimeter. Incorporation of microfabricated calorimeters, such as those that have been developed in Sandia’s MicroChemLab program or that are now commercially available, would allow for faster measurements and a smaller instrument footprint.
- Publication Date:
- OSTI Identifier:
- Report Number(s):
- DOE Contract Number:
- Resource Type:
- Technical Report
- Research Org:
- Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
- Sponsoring Org:
- USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
- Country of Publication:
- United States
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