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Title: Cryogenic distillation facility for isotopic purification of protium and deuterium

Isotopic purification of the protium and deuterium is an important requirement of many physics experiments. A cryogenic facility for high-efficiency separation of hydrogen isotopes with a cryogenic distillation column as the main element is described. The instrument is portable, so that it can be used at the experimental site. It was designed and built at the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, Gatchina, Russia. Fundamental operating parameters have been measured including a liquid holdup in the column packing, the pressure drops across the column and the purity of the product at different operating modes. A mathematical model describes expected profiles of hydrogen isotope concentration along the distillation column. An analysis of ortho-parahydrogen isomeric composition by gas chromatography was used for evaluation of the column performance during the tuning operations. The protium content during deuterium purification (≤100 ppb) was measured using gas chromatography with accumulation of the protium in the distillation column. A high precision isotopic measurement at the Institute of Particle Physics, ETH-Zurich, Switzerland, provided an upper bound of the deuterium content in protium (≤6 ppb), which exceeds all commercially available products.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (NRC “Kurchatov Institute” PNPI), 188300 Gatchina (Russian Federation)
  2. Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195 (United States)
  3. Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI), CH-5232 Villigen (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22482668
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Review of Scientific Instruments; Journal Volume: 86; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; COLUMN PACKING; DEUTERIUM; DISTILLATION; DISTILLATION EQUIPMENT; GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY; HYDROGEN 1; PURIFICATION