FAQ - Make your own deuterium from heavy water!! The video

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Jim Kovalchick
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Re: FAQ - Make your own deuterium from heavy water!! The video

Post by Jim Kovalchick » Sat May 01, 2021 5:23 pm

Mark,
I also found that quickly capping the nipple on my fusor end helps eliminate the need to purge and prime between between syringe change outs.

Jim K

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Re: FAQ - Make your own deuterium from heavy water!! The video

Post by Frank Sanns » Sat May 01, 2021 10:05 pm

Nice videos Mark. Great explanations and walk throughs.

I keep thinking there must be a better and more voluminous way to store the D2. Maybe a bubbler into a glass or metal flask with a stopcock or valve. Bubble away until you have a liter then you don't have to PEM cell each time. The bubbler of course could not be full of water or even deuterated water. Mineral oil comes to mind. It is a common liquid used in bubblers where the off gasses cannot come in contact with water because.

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Mark Rowley
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Re: FAQ - Make your own deuterium from heavy water!! The video

Post by Mark Rowley » Sat May 01, 2021 11:15 pm

Thanks Frank

Making deuterium is almost of no consequence. Takes roughly 15 minutes for 100mL. I’ll start the PEM cell at the same time I begin heating up the diff pump. Everything readies up at about the same time. Not to mention all the other things to do before a fusion run, more often than not the gas is ready before I am.

Mark Rowley

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Re: FAQ - Make your own deuterium from heavy water!! The video

Post by Rex Allers » Sun May 02, 2021 6:17 am

I made this post yesterday in another thread. Richard asked me to repost it here and keep all the discussion in the FAQ, so...

Mark,
Congrats on your video. Not only on the content but also the production, very good video and audio.

----
I thought I'd post a bit of stuff here rather than in the FAQ version. My thought is, if there is any discussion here, the end results can be gleaned and used to update the FAQ. The goal is keeping as much chatty evolution out of the FAQ as possible.

-- So, 1st question. Mark, you mention that after a few uses your gas-holding syringe might stick a little as it fills, and how to deal with that. So I would expect the same could happen as it empties. Have you noticed any glitches in the flow rate into the chamber from stiction as the D2 is being pulled out?

-- Not directly related to producing D2, you have two valves in the path between the storage syringe and the chamber. You mention the metering valve closest to the chamber has fine control. You mention the other is a medium flow valve (my words, I didn't check the video). I'm curious if this medium flow valve plays much part in the metering of the D2 into the chamber or is it more of an on/off and the finer metering valve does all the real control?

You know how you use them and how they interact. I'm asking based on what I think I would expect. Just curious.

-- In your video, there seem to be long rods/knobs on the two valves. I presume these are just extensions that you added. No problem, just might help the viewer understand what they are seeing if there was a comment in any text footnotes to the video.

-- It might also help the full story to mention what the two valves are (Swagelok SS-SS4 or something). No need in the video, just follow-up in the post.

-- *Yes, my last three are not directly related to PEM D2 production. I don't intend these to be critical, I thought it just might fill out the usage story a bit.

---------------------------
In 2018 I posted a message in the New User Chat forum about using these small PEM cells. Here's the link (still surviving) --
http://www.fusor.net/board/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=12567

At the time Richard wanted me to move it to a FAQ post. I intended to do that. But first
I wanted to put together a small humidity sensor and measure the H (or D) output to see if a small humidity filter in-line was worth the effort. I never did those tests so I never posted to a FAQ.

So maybe I should still tweak up my old post a bit and make it into an additional FAQ.

Commentariate: Should I do that? If I do, should I put it into Mark's (via Richard) FAQ message or should I make it a separate FAQ and reference Mark's?

----
Now, two key differences in what my old post put together, vs. Mark's simple, straightforward usage.
I added two small chambers on the O2/water side made from small syringes (no plunger, just cut off cylinders as small reservoirs). See pics in my linked post.

The first of these two add-on tubes connects as closely as possible to the bottom nub on the O2/water side. The plan is to initially fill with water/D2O to a level equal to the top of the PEM membrane. The idea is to provide a small external reservoir so the liquid level on the membrane drops slower as the liquid is converted to gasses.

The second tube is connected to the top O2 output on the PEM cell. This O2 gas is allowed to just escape. In operation I noticed that the O2 bubbles in the cell were pumping a small amount of liquid out of this port as they escaped. The purpose of this second tube is just to provide a place to capture any expelled liquid and let it drain back into the PEM chamber.

I am welcome to any comments and especially about me posting my old message as a FAQ and also if my two external small cylindrical chambers are worth the effort.
Rex Allers

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Re: FAQ - Make your own deuterium from heavy water!! The video

Post by Mark Rowley » Sun May 02, 2021 6:57 am

Hi Rex and thanks for the compliments.

Regarding the first question:
Yes, I have noticed the plunger slightly surge forward during fusor operation. However, the needle valves appear to regulate flow in a way where such movement has no effect. I have directly observed zero movement on the vacuum gauge and no noticeable change in neutron production or Star luminosity during those instances. From my experience, the only negative issue of the sticky syringe is during the filling process.

Second question:
Yes, two valves with one being a fine adjustment SS-SS4 needle valve followed by a medium flow valve, which is then followed by the syringe input tubing. Surprisingly, the medium flow valve is the main point of adjustment followed by the SS-SS4. Quite honestly, I could probably loose the SS-SS4 and suffer no significant issues with gas flow adjustment. Typically, the SS4 is opened about 3 turns and left alone. But again, as we know all fusor designs and assemblages are different. For PEM cell D2 I didn’t want to get too much into the specifics of my system other than the universal need for purging that valved feed line.

Third Question:
The extensions are just lexan rods I put in place to make it easier to adjust from a standing position.

Rex, I like your original PEM cell build. Having a more elaborate system to provide a constant flow is quite interesting. Something along those lines would be good for a larger chambered system where a 100mL syringe would be consumed rather quickly.

Regarding the humidity, I haven’t noticed anything Earth shattering. If you recall, I built a cold trap last year that had mixed results but leaned in the direction of some improved neutron count. I’m now somewhat skeptical of those results as it was only used on the older 2.75” cross fusor. After building the current and slightly larger system, I’ve since realized the 2.75” lacked stability. The new system being stable enough to walk away from is more suitable to testing the cold trap. I may revisit that arrangement and compare findings with this new system.

Overall, my main focus is simplification on all fronts. I understand comparatively complex PEM cell arrangements can be built but for an FAQ I think simple and basic is good. It offers an encouraging starting point for the newbie.

Mark Rowley

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Re: FAQ - Make your own deuterium from heavy water!! The video

Post by Richard Hull » Mon May 03, 2021 3:58 am

This is all chatty stuff....But real stuff that totally belongs in this FAQ. I try to retrieve the best jewels like Mark's videos into the FAQs.

Chattiness in the FAQs by old boys with knowledge to contribute can be as chatty as they want. It must all be content based from knowledge or good questions from those out of their depths who have viewed all the videos and all the replies and still need answers. Only then should anyone ask a question or go chatty. I was totally amazed when Mark just plugged in the batteries in the original video?!?!! What? Where's the D2O? It was not covered at all! Thus I questioned. Mark went back to the video camera and did a first rate job of teaching how to prep the cell. I was made smarter for the question and now all others will be, too.

This FAQ Chatty? Yes! Valuable to the FAQ? Yes!

Rex, should you pull together a decent FAQ related to your work, it should be a separate FAQ. Keep me in the loop.

This and any FAQ can be as chatty as it needs to be as long as there is content of value, new experiences and better ideas.

Richard Hull
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Re: FAQ - Make your own deuterium from heavy water!! The video

Post by Richard Hull » Thu May 06, 2021 5:54 pm

I want to make it plain what you get when you order the reversible fuel cell model FCSU-023 ($65.00)from Fuel Cell Earth on line. You can save $10.00 by ordering the electrolyzer only cell as noted above.

I heard in the video that stuff comes with the "kit" according to Mark Rowley.

To obtain the single cell on the website nothing is mentioned of a kit or what comes with it that I could see. They did offer kits of 5 cell educator kit and lots of kits with a cell a motor or a fan or a solar cell or any number of classroom and teaching kits. But not one mention of anything coming with the single cell purchase at $65. While I am not planning to turn the heavy water I have on hand into deuterium, I felt that one never knows what the future may bring, plus it seemed a cool thing to have. I figured I would just receive the cell and could scrounge the rest. I did look at their accessory page and you could buy all the cables, tubing and everything as extras. I did not want to pay their prices, so I just ordered the cell figuring I either already had most of the extras needed or could fashion what I needed.

Finally, these folks do not like the USPS. They must have a brother-in-law at FED EX or have a vast stock holding with FED EX. Using their cheapest offered shipping option from Massachusetts was $19.00!!

I was very pleased that their single cell offering comes as a ready to rock and roll "kit" which they do not offer as a kit in their on-line literature. So, don't buy the accessories!
I attach an image of what I received. Much of this is not made totally clear in the videos and definitely not in the literature. I felt that Mark must have purchased a kit from them as he does mention some of the stuff comes with the "kit". Anyway, here is what I received for my $65.00 +$19.00

The only thing you will need, as Mark points out is heavy water, and if for a fusor, a large 50-100ml syringe (see his video as the syringe is of a specific type.)

Richard Hull
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Re: FAQ - Make your own deuterium from heavy water!! The video

Post by Mark Rowley » Thu May 06, 2021 6:27 pm

Richard,
We’re definitely on the same page today. I woke up thinking I should post a picture of what a kit consists of. And low and behold I see your post! Perfect!

Yes, shipping charges are brutal. However, that brings me to a potential point of concern. 2-3 years ago, Horizon cells were marketed everywhere. eBay, Amazon, and a host of other websites marketing the product. Amazon was great as shipping cost was minimal if not “free”. However, about 18 months ago (pre covid) it all dried up. Almost appeared like the company was going out of business as you could not find them anywhere except through the place we’re now getting them.

I’m somewhat inclined to think the company is struggling or has moved on to different interests. Being as such, I’d recommend anyone who’s remotely thinking about generating their own deuterium to get one soon. If they don’t go out of business, good. But as a precaution, getting one now may be in ones best interest. And if you do, keep it sealed in the plastic pack until needed.

Last week I ordered one more for reserve.

Mark Rowley

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Re: FAQ - Make your own deuterium from heavy water!! The video

Post by Aidan_Roy » Fri May 07, 2021 2:11 am

There is also this website here, from horizon themselves, with a single cell price at $49 and $18 shipping for me. Not much but a little bit cheaper than what I saw Richard payed. I have yet to look at his source but seeing as I’m in Massachusetts it might be worth a peak. Hope this helps.

https://www.horizoneducational.com/pem- ... 173?v=1313

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Re: FAQ - Make your own deuterium from heavy water!! The video

Post by Rex Allers » Mon May 10, 2021 9:58 am

Back near the begining of this FAQ thread Richard asked about the D2 volume from one cell charge. Mark replied,

"One full PEM cell is good for a little over three 100mL charges. One could probably get 4 but running the cell dry is a sure way to damage it."

Tonight I thought I'd try to do some calculations, and they came out to support that observation. Nice when that happens.

First, I wanted to measure, fairly accurately, the volume to fill my Horizon electrolyzer cell.

I have a 1 ml syringe.
1 ml syringe.jpg
I filled the syringe to the 1 ml mark, pusing out any air bubbles all the way through the tubing that would attach to the bottom cell nub. I slowly pushed the liquid into the cell
and when it filled to the top, the syringe read right at .6 ml. So:

0.4 ml to fill the cell.

In the calculation section that follows, the constants at the top came from the "CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics".

I think I got it right. Let me know if I messed anything up.

===================================
Any gas volume
24.47 liter/mole (@ STP)

Atomic Weights:
----------------
D, 2.014
O, 15.995

D2 mole = 4.028 g
O mole = 15.995 g
D2O mole = 20.023 g
------------------
D2O density = 1.105 g/ml
------------------

1 ml D2O = 1.105 g
= 1.105 / 20.023 = .05519 mol
= .05519 * 24470 = 1350.5 ml of D2

-----------------
My measurement of liquid volume to fill chamber of
Horizon electrolyzer cell is:
0.4 ml

We don't want to run it dry, so say we only consume
2/3 of that volume. That is about:
0.26 ml

So D2 electrolyzed would be:
1351 * 0.26 = 351 ml
of D2 generated.

Using all the D20 in the cell would yield
1351 * 0.4 = 540 ml
of D2

========
Here's another calc. I bought a bottle with 100g of D2O

100g / 20.023 = 4.994 mol
4.994 * 24.47 = 122 L of D2 for the bottle
Rex Allers

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