Environmental Chemistry

Is Heavy water drinkable?

Heavy water ?

By Tariq majeed
Heavy Water Facts

Heavy water facts and properties

Heavy water facts and properties are listed below.Its formula  D2O is deuterium monoxide or water in which one or more of the hydrogen atoms is a deuterium atom . Deuterium monoxide has the symbol D 2 O or 2 H 2 O. It is sometimes called simply deuterium oxide. Here are facts about heavy water , including its chemical and physical properties.

Facts and properties of heavy water

CAS number 7789-20-0
molecular formula 2 H 2 O
molar mass 20.0276 g / mol
exact mass 20.023118178 g / mol
appearance pale blue transparent liquid
odour odorless
density 1.107 g / cm 3
Fusion point 3.8 ° C
boiling point 101.4 ° C
molecular weight 20.0276 g / mol
vapor pressure 16.4 mm Hg
refractive index 1,328
viscosity at 25 ° C 0.001095 Pa s
specific heat of fusion 0.3096 kj / g

Heavy water use

  • Heavy water is used as a neutron moderator in some nuclear reactors.
  • Deuterium oxide is used in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) in aqueous solutions involving the study of a hydrogen nuclide.
  • Deuterium oxide is used in organic chemistry to mark hydrogen or to track reactions involving water.
  • Heavy water is often used in place of ordinary water in Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) of proteins.
  • Moderate heavy water reactors are used to produce another isotope of hydrogen – tritium.
  • Heavy water, made using deuterium and oxygen-18, is intended to test metabolic rates in humans and animals via the doubly labeled water test.
  • Heavy water was used in a neutrino detector.

Radioactive heavy water?

Many people assume that heavy water is radioactive because it uses a heavier isotope of hydrogen, is used to moderate nuclear reactions, and is used in reactors to form tritium (which is radioactive).

Pure heavy water is not radioactive . Heavy commercial grade water, like ordinary tap water and any other natural water, is slightly radioactive because it contains traces of tritiated water. There is no risk of radiation.

The heavy water used as coolant in a nuclear power plant contains much more tritium, because the neutron bombardment of deuterium in heavy water sometimes forms tritium.

Is heavy water dangerous to drink?

Although heavy water is not radioactive, it is not a good idea to drink a large volumebecause water deuterium does not act in the same way as protium (a normal isotope of hydrogen) in biochemical reactions. You wouldn’t suffer from a sip of heavy water or a drink of it, but if you only drink heavy water, you would replace enough protium with deuterium to have negative health effects. It is estimated that you will need to replace 25 to 50% of your body’s regular water with heavy water that could be damaged. In mammals, 25% replacement leads to sterility. 50% replacement would kill you. Keep in mind that much of your body’s water comes from the food you eat, not just from the water you drink.

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