Deuterium (2H2; D2) is a naturally occurring stable isotope of the hydrogen atom. Deuterium contains a neutron in its nucleus in addition to the one proton normally seen in protium (light hydrogen). A deuterium atom is twice as heavy as protium. Isowater® has developed a proprietary process to produce deuterium gas (CAS 7782-39-0) at various purities up to 99.999+% reliably and economically. Currently Isowater® is offering custom solutions for deuterium gas management including waste gas collection and recycle, customer support, and deuterium oxide supply for deuterium gas systems.
For further information on deuterium uses, please click here to review the applications.
Origins of Deuterium Gas
Most of the deuterium (heavy hydrogen) that can be found on earth is believed to be formed about 10 minutes after the Big Bang, along with other very light isotopes presently found in the universe. More recently, 2.5 billion years ago, most of the deuterium atoms on the earth were incorporated into water molecules. The small fraction of natural hydrogen the Deuterium isotope made-up (only 0.015% of all hydrogen isotopes), was now found most commonly in the form of HDO molecules. Since then, deuterium has continued to be most commonly found in this form, and eventually was discovered by scientists as heavy water in 1931.
American chemist Harold C. Urey working with his associates Ferdinand G. Brickwedde and George M. Murphy discovered Deuterium in 1931. For this discovery he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1934. Since the initial discovery of deuterium, many variants and formats of the substance have been created and discovered, such as deuterium oxide.
Isowater’s® Founder and CEO Andrew T.B. Stuart’s grandfather Alexander T. Stuart implemented a water electrolysis facility in San Carlos California, which later became a deuterium enrichment site for the US Government in the 1930’s.
Pure heavy water D2O, is the oxide of the heavy stable isotope of hydrogen, deuterium, denoted by the symbols 2H or D. Physically and chemically it is almost identical to ordinary “light” water, H2O, however, its density is 10% higher. It is this higher density which gives the compound its nickname, “heavy water.”
Deuterium Gas Uses
There are many applications of deuterium gas due to the benefits found in the physical properties of deuterium. Furthermore, the potential applications for the isotope are increased when converted into a gas format, allowing for a range of other possibilities. Some of the typical applications of deuterium gas include optimizing the gate oxide reliability in transistors, improving the reliability in thin-tunnel oxides for nonvolatile memories, and as an isotopic tracer in investigations of chemical and biochemical reactions involving hydrogen. Other applications include deuterium arch lamps and in nuclear projects.
However, the applications for deuterium gas do not simply end there as there are many others not listed above. As well, deuterium is in the forefront of new technological advancements in many industries, with new breakthroughs happening all the time. The range of potential applications is seemingly endless.
What is Deuterium Gas?
Due to the isotopic difference between deuterium (D or 2H) and protium (standard hydrogen or 1H), their respective properties differ accordingly. The variance in physical properties of the two isotopes help give deuterium some of the key applications it has. For example, due to large mass difference, in mass spectroscopy, deuterium can be distinguished from hydrogen. However, as deuterium has a significant mass difference compared to protium, the bond length in a molecule involving the isotope will be effected. When the bond length is affected, other properties of the molecule are as well. The exact numerical specifications of deuterium gas are as follows below.
Properties of Deuterium Gas
Specific Volume @ 21.1 deg. C/1 atm
Triple Point Temperature
1254.4 deg, C
Triple Point Pressure
Absolute Density, gas @ STP
Surface Area (m2/g)
-234.9 deg. C
Critical Temperature Normal Deuterium
Viscosity, Normal Deuterium @ STP
Thermal Conductivity, Normal Deuterium @ STP
308.0 0x10-6 cal/(s.cm. deg C)
Flammability Limits In Air
5-75% by volume