Progress of Cryogenics and Isotopes Separation , ISSN: 1582-2575
2008, Volume 11, Issue 21+22

Proposal for Platinum Hydrophobic Catalyst for Hydrogen Isotopes Separation from Nuclear Efluents

Irina Vagner 1* , Gheorghe Ionita 1 , Carmen Varlam 1 , Ioan Stefanescu 2

1 National Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Separation, Rm. Valcea
2 National Institute of Cryogenics & Isotopic Technologies, Rm. Valcea

*Corresponding author: Irina Vagner, e-mail:

Published: June 2008


The hydrophobic catalysts were originally conceived in Canada for the deuterium enrichment and tritium separation by hydrogen-liquid water isotopic exchange in nuclear field. Unlike the conventional hydrophilic catalysts, which become inefficient at direct contact with liquid water, the hydrophobic catalysts kept a high catalytic activity and stability, even under the direct contact to liquid water or in presence of saturated humidity.

Based on the long experience of the authors, in the preparation, testing and evaluation of the performances of hydrophobic catalysts, and based on the reviewed references, this paper presents up-to-date R&D activities on the preparation methods and applications of the hydrophobic catalysts, in tritium separation. The objectives of the paper are: (1) to provide a database for selection of the most appropriate catalyst and catalytic packing for above mentioned processes (2) to asses and to find a new procedure for preparation a new improved  hydrophobic catalyst. Though, in the reviewed references, not all experimental conditions are reported, we consider that platinum remains the most active and efficient catalytic metal and the TEFLON is the best wet-proofing agent.

A new method for preparation of new improved hydrophobic Pt-catalyst has been proposed. The main steps and experimental conditions of preparation are discussed. A new wet-proofing agent and some new binding agents (titanium oxide and zirconium oxide) with catalytic role are proposed and used in preparation of new catalysts. The applications of the new hydrophobic catalysts in nuclear field for tritium separations from tritiated liquid effluents and for the clean-up of the airborne tritium at nuclear facilities are discussed.



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