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Deuterium Essay

1894 words - 8 pages

Deuterium as the Future Energy Source and Philippines as the Largest Producer of Deuterium

Without energy, global progress would seize to expand, and the quest for better society can only be achieved with sustainable energy, however with the dilemma of the fossil fuel reserves and the few choices that could replace fossil fuel energy output, the world cannot afford not to develop nuclear fusion technology particularly with the use of Deuterium.

I. Introduction
II. What is Deuterium?
A. Definition
B. History
C. Importance and Uses
III. Sources
D. Deuterium Mining
IV. Effects
E. Man and;
F. Economy


“The only ...view middle of the document...

This is in reference to the two particles, a proton and a neutron, which make up the nucleus of a deuterium atom. It is a colorless, odorless, nontoxic, diatomic, flammable gas. Deuterium gas also known as heavy hydrogen is a heavier and stable isotope of ordinary hydrogen. It is widely known worldwide as "Fuel of the Future".

It was first discovered and isolated in 1932 by an American chemist Harold Urey, deuterium or heavy water is composed of two isotopes of hydrogen and an oxygen atom, with a chemical formula of D20 or H30.  With more hydrogen molecules than ordinary water, it is much heavier than water and even saltwater; causing it to naturally sink farther into deep ocean trenches (Dr. Calo, 2001).

From the words of Halog (2004), the amazing thing about deuterium is that at room temperatures or normal atmospheric pressure, deuterium atoms are electrolyzed naturally out of water dispelling hydrogen gas.  This natural phenomenal process needs no expensive electric power-consuming electrolysis to artificially separate hydrogen from oxygen in ordinary water. 

History of Deuterium

Deuterium was first detected spectroscopically in late 1932 by Harold Urey, a chemist at Columbia University. Urey’s collaborator, Ferdinand Brickwedde, distilled five liters of cryogenically produced liquid hydrogen to 1 mL of liquid, using the low- temperature physics laboratory that had recently been established at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C. (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology). The technique had previously been used to isolate heavy isotopes of neon. The cryogenic boiloff technique concentrated the fraction of the mass-2 isotope of hydrogen to a degree that made its spectroscopic identification unambiguous. (http//, Author: Dr. Rivera, 8/10/2004)

Importance and Uses of Deuterium

Deuterium gas is used in nuclear power, fusion power, deuterated optical fibers, deuterated lubricants, lasers, light bulbs, R & D laboratories and annealing semiconductor rim.

This element has primarily two uses, as a tracer in research and in thermonuclear fusion reactions. A tracer is any atom or group of atoms whose participation in a physical, chemical, or biological reaction can be easily observed. Radioactive isotopes are perhaps the most familiar kind of tracer. They can be tracked in various types of changes because of the radiation they emit.

Also it is an effective tracer because of its mass. When it replaces protium in a compound, its presence can easily be detected because it weights twice as much as a protium atom. Also, as mentioned above, the bonds formed by deuterium with other atoms are slightly different from those formed by protium with other atoms. Thus, it is often possible to figure out what detailed changes take place at various stages of a chemical reaction using deuterium as a tracer (Cluemen, 2002).

According to Halog (2004), at present, deuterium is...

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