Deuterium storage

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Corby Dawson
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Deuterium storage

Post by Corby Dawson » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:34 am

Has anyone tried storing Deuterium in a Hyrostik or Hydrostik Pro?
They are commonly used to store Hydrogen. Just wondering if they would
work for Deuterium.

Cheers,
Corby

Peter Schmelcher
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Re: Deuterium storage

Post by Peter Schmelcher » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:45 am

Hi Corby,

Interesting storage idea. Deuterium is not chemically identical to hydrogen and sufficiently different that a US researcher recently created a membrane that can separate D from H atoms.

Another untested storage solution that I will use is ebay item 150382481448

BTW I have a few rubidium oscillators but never moved on the cesium. My every day frequency standard is an HP Z3816A.

Best Wishes,
Peter

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Deuterium storage

Post by Dennis P Brown » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:49 pm

If you have deuterium gas, what is it currently stored in? If you are producing it (and drying it), any type of metal container that can be evacuated should handle D2 (at near atm pressure!) Small gas bottles both steel or aluminum appear on e-bay and could be used as long as it it is NOT being used for high pressure storage. Using a special fuel cell storage system/device (at the high price they are asking) appears not very cost effective - before buying such a specialized storage unit, you should call the company and ask if the device can - pressure limits might be an issue.

Corby Dawson
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Re: Deuterium storage

Post by Corby Dawson » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:49 am

Dennis, The reason I mentioned it is that a Hydrostik holds 10 Liters of Hydrogen in a cylinder about as big as 1 and a half C-cells. Fully charged it is at about 435PSI. At $30.00 (can be found cheaper on eBay) I don't consider it expensive as it is fully rechargable. (not sure how much an empty 10 liter gas cylinder costs but can't be a lot cheaper that $30.00.) One other aspect is that (with Hydrogen at least) they are legal to bring on an aircraft as carryon (only two)! I believe but can't locate confirmation that they are also legal to ship. Might be attractive If they could be used for Deuterium also!

Cheers,

Corby

Dan Knapp
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Re: Deuterium storage

Post by Dan Knapp » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:08 am

Deuterium is essentially chemically identical to hydrogen (in that it undergoes the same chemical reactions) but reaction rates are different (slower) due to the kinetic isotope effect. Isotopes differ in physical properties, which is most likely the basis of the membrane separation process noted.
The Hydrostik stores hydrogen as a metal hydride formed with the alloy TiMn2. Metal hydride storage is a standard method for fusion reactors. For example, at the JET tokamak they are storing their tritium as a metal (uranium) hydride. The Hydrostik could be used to store deuterium, but the kinetic isotope effect would require longer times and pressures to fully charge it. Increasing the pressure could be problematic since the Hydrostik has a 580 psi maximum pressure rating. As noted, the Hydrostik offers little advantage if one already has a cylinder of deuterium.
A possible advantageous application, however, would be to store deuterium made by electrolysis of deuterium oxide, which is much easier to obtain that deuterium gas. The manufacturer of the Hydrostik offers a recharging unit (cost $330) that produces the hydrogen by electrolysis of water. One could use this device with deuterium oxide, although the above mentioned kinetic isotope effect would mean that it would not fully charge the Hydrostik with 10 liters of deuterium. One needs dry deuterium for fusor use. The recharging unit presumably produces dry hydrogen because the Hydrostik manual warns that dry hydrogen must be used (moisture has a damaging effect upon the alloy hydride). One would have to figure out a way to protect deuterium oxide in the recharging unit from atmospheric moisture exposure (via the vent). If that problem were solved, the Hydrostik and recharging unit could be a viable alternative to those who are unable to acquire gaseous deuterium. The cost would be $360 plus the cost of the deuterium oxide. If the charged Hydrostik units can be legally shipped at reasonable cost, someone could start a small business, and provide a valuable service to the fusor community by buying a setup and selling deuterium charged Hydrostiks.
For those interested in learning more about these devices, Jameco sells them and has the manuals posted on its website.

Rex Allers
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Re: Deuterium storage

Post by Rex Allers » Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:25 am

Interesting stuff on the HydroStik. I hadn't seen them before.

Seems they are made by Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies -- http://www.horizonfuelcell.com/

I gather the original was HydroStik and now there is HydroStik Pro. The charging unit, Hydrofill, also has a Pro version. The spec for HydroStik says: Hydrogen Charging Pressure -- 2.5MPaG, which I think is about 360 PSI. The Pro versions are a bit higher.

I'm wondering if anyone knows how the Hydrofill achieves these pressures? It says the electrolysis technology is PEM. Does just electrolysis get to these pressures? I'm surprised the PEM membrane doesn't pop, so curious if anyone knows more details.

I looked on the Horizon store pages. The Hydrofills there are expensive: non-Pro @ $419 and Pro @ $719. The Jameco page seems to be for the non-Pro but is much cheaper at $330.

I have some D2O so may look into this. Any more details appreciated.
Rex Allers

Corby Dawson
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Re: Deuterium storage

Post by Corby Dawson » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:22 am

Rex,

If somone has some pressurized Deuterium and a regulator that will adjust down to 435PSI it would be inexpensive to test storage in a Hydrostik. You would need the regulator, tubing, and an adaptor for the Hydrostik fitting. (Procedure is in the Hydrostik manual) I'd recommend trying that first to see if it works. Then if results are positive, getting or borrowing a Hydrofill and trying it!

Cheers,

Corby

Rex Allers
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Re: Deuterium storage

Post by Rex Allers » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:57 am

Corby,

I don't have a working fusor yet, so I'm in no position to try it. I don't have any bottled D2 either. The difficulty of obtaining D2 gas is what makes the electrolysis interesting.

I went ahead and bought a Hydrofill and one HydroStik from Jameco, and it came already. I of course immediately opened it up to see what is in there. The PEM cell is pretty big and beefy. It apparently provides all the needed pressure (~435 psi) just from the electrolysis.

To use it for D2 I can see two issues: 1) The water input feeds are big and inefficient. I think I would rework that to make it more frugal with the D2O.
2) There are some pretty big chambers on the H2 output path. I assume to dehumidify. Could be wasteful of D2 to purge the system of other gasses to keep D2 pure.

I haven't tried or measured anything yet, but it seems after a charge the HydroStik output pressure should start around 400 psi. Seems to me you would need a regulator after the HydroStik to keep the pressure low and steady for fusor use.

As I get more details, I'll write it up and share here.

Today, I also found there is another company Brunton that sells what seems to be the same components as Horizon but rebadged, and cheaper.
Hydrofill = Hydrolyser
HydroStik = Hydrogen Core

Too bad I learned that after I bought the Hydrofill.
Rex Allers

Silviu Tamasdan
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Re: Deuterium storage

Post by Silviu Tamasdan » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:51 pm

Rex Allers wrote: 2) There are some pretty big chambers on the H2 output path. I assume to dehumidify. Could be wasteful of D2 to purge the system of other gasses to keep D2 pure.
You could try purging the internal gas chambers with something like argon (available at welding supply stores - it's used as an inert gas for TIG welders, and not too expensive). Whatever argon is left in the system after that will likely have no effect on the D2/H2 storage in the cell.

(edit) or helium from party stores - used for balloons. But I think that party-grade helium is really impure, and I don't know what it's contaminated with. TIG argon is at least reasonably pure.
Also, Brunton stuff is manufactured by Horizon - it says so on their website. http://www.horizonfuelcell.com/#!oem-odm-portable/c1r2j
There _is_ madness to my method.

Peter Schmelcher
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Re: Deuterium storage

Post by Peter Schmelcher » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:13 am

Another article about graphene research, this one is a membrane that can filter Hydrogen from D and T.

http://phys.org/news/2016-01-graphene-f ... ilter.html

-Peter

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