A compact tritium enrichment unit for large sample volumes with automated re-filling and higher enrichment factor

B. Kumar, L. F. Han, L. I. Wassenaar, P. M. Klaus, G. G. Kainz, D. Hillegonds, D. Brummer, M. Ahmad, D. L. Belachew, L. Araguás, P. Aggarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tritium (3H) in natural waters is a powerful tracer of hydrological processes, but its low concentrations require electrolytic enrichment before precise measurements can be made with a liquid scintillation counter. Here, we describe a newly developed, compact tritium enrichment unit which can be used to enrich up to 2 L of a water sample. This allows a high enrichment factor (>100) for measuring low 3H contents of <0.05 TU. The TEU uses a small cell (250 mL) with automated re-filling and a CO2 bubbling technique to neutralize the high alkalinity of enriched samples. The enriched residual sample is retrieved from the cell under vacuum by cryogenic distillation at −20 °C and the tritium enrichment factor for each sample is accurately determined by measuring pre- and post- enrichment 2H concentrations with laser spectrometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Volume118
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Deuterium enrichment
  • Electrolytic enrichment
  • Environmental tritium
  • Tritium enrichment
  • Tritium enrichment unit/system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation

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    Kumar, B., Han, L. F., Wassenaar, L. I., Klaus, P. M., Kainz, G. G., Hillegonds, D., Brummer, D., Ahmad, M., Belachew, D. L., Araguás, L., & Aggarwal, P. (2016). A compact tritium enrichment unit for large sample volumes with automated re-filling and higher enrichment factor. Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 118, 80-86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2016.07.018