[Vwdiesel] Fuel 101 --- ( The Hydrogen questions )

H . Hagar. h_hagar at prcn.org
Wed May 25 13:52:56 EDT 2005

 When you read the following  -----   you  may understand  WHY      Doyt Echelberger
is my Tutor ,Mentor or Professor  or  whatever . ----EH ?.

BUT it does not explain   WHY ? I ---Hagar at 73 is such a KEEN student. ---EH ?.

Well I missed University for a number of reasons ----  a drunken steph dad was one.
And when he beat me up I ran away from home. ------Well I had to eat EH ?   ----get it ?.

BUT like Morian Hansen said ----where there is a will --there is a way. -------------So I got
a super education Thanks to NATO   and American Tax dollars.  -----Is this a bit of payback ?
I like to think so.

Here is DOYT :

Let's not try to do the whole hydrogen thing in one swell foop.

Start by taking a swing at the heavy water thing:

Heavy Water (D2O) is a compound of an isotope of hydrogen called heavy 
hydrogen or Deuterium (D) and oxygen. Deuterium has an atomic mass of 2, as 
against 1 for normal hydrogen (H) due to presence of an extra neutron in 
the nucleus. Deuterium is present in hydrogen and hydrogen bearing 
compounds like water, hydrocarbons, etc. and has a small natural occurrence 
(D/D+H) of about 140 to 150 ppm. So it is necessary to process large 
quantities of the low concentration feed stock to produce the final product 
which is enriched to the reactor grade i.e. 99.8 mole %.

Heavy Water has great similarity in its physical and chemical properties to 
ordinary water. But its nuclear properties display a significant variation 
which makes it an extremely efficient material for use as moderator in a 
nuclear reactor.

It is important to note that heavy water is not radioactive, nor is it 
dangerous in small quantities to humans or other life. The deuterium 
isotope occurs naturally in the ratio 1:4500; thus D2O is found at the 
level of about 1 in 20 million water molecules. But don't consume large 
quantities of the stuff. More on that later.

There are physical differences between light and heavy water. Heavy water 
is (duh) heavier, having a density of 1.108 g/cm3. Heavy water ice will 
actually sink in light liquid water. The freezing and boiling points are 
also elevated somewhat, with heavy water freezing at 3.81° C (38.86° F) and 
boiling at 101.42° C (214.56° F) at standard atmospheric pressure.

Despite the fact the light water and heavy water are in general chemically 
very similar, heavy water is mildly toxic. How can this be? Since heavy 
water is heavier than normal water, the speed of chemical reactions 
involving it is altered somewhat, as is the strength of some types of bonds 
it forms. This affects certain cellular processes, notably mitosis, or cell 
division, due to the difference in binding energy in the hydrogen bonds 
needed to make certain proteins. Mouse studies have shown that drinking 
only heavy water along with normal feed eventually causes degeneration of 
tissues that need to replenish themselves frequently, and leads to 
cumulative damage from injuries that don't heal as quickly. One study 
likens the effects to those suffered by chemotherapy patients. Heavy water 
toxicity manifests itself when about 50% of the water in the body has been 
replaced by D2O. Prolonged heavy water consumption can cause death.

Don't get any funny ideas about using heavy water as a virtually 
untraceable and undetectable murder weapon, though. Given its role in 
breeder reactors for producing weapons-grade plutonium, production and 
distribution of heavy water is closely monitored and controlled. Obtaining 
a significant amount is damn near impossible for the average Joe, and you'd 
need a LOT of it to kill anyone. It's also expensive--one estimate puts the 
price at about $300 per kilogram. Hit 'em over the head with a bottle of 
Poland Spring and save yourself some grief.

Heavy water is produced at Ontario Hydro's heavy water plant 'B' at the 
Bruce Power Development in Tiverton, Ontario. The heavy water is not 
manufactured, but rather it is extracted from the quantity that is found 
naturally in lake water. The water is separated through a series of towers, 
using hydrogen sulphide as an agent. Owing to AECLs CANDU programme, Canada 
is the world's supplier of heavy water.

The heavy water for the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) is on loan from 
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), and has a value of over $300 
million (Cnd). AECL's heavy water stockpile is to supply the moderator for 
future sale of CANDU stations. Owing to the extreme cleanliness 
requirements in SNO, the heavy water will come directly from the Bruce 
plant. This is arranged by an exchange agreement with Ontario hydro.


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