(19)
(11)EP 3 165 275 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
10.05.2017 Bulletin 2017/19

(21)Application number: 15815232.2

(22)Date of filing:  01.07.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B01D 59/08(2006.01)
G21F 9/06(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2015/069057
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/002856 (07.01.2016 Gazette  2016/01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA

(30)Priority: 01.07.2014 JP 2014135968

(71)Applicant: Global Clean Technology Inc.
Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 1008558 (JP)

(72)Inventor:
  • NAKAMURA, Satoshi
    Tokyo 136-0072 (JP)

(74)Representative: Godemeyer Blum Lenze Patentanwälte Partnerschaft mbB - werkpatent 
An den Gärten 7
51491 Overath
51491 Overath (DE)

  


(54)METHOD FOR SEPARATING TRITIATED WATER FROM LIGHT WATER


(57) Provided is an industrially feasible method for separating tritiated water from light water.
The method comprises:
a step of removing tritiated water and heavy water from light water by
adding heavy water to a liquid mixture containing tritiated water and light water,
by converting into a gas hydrate consisting essentially of tritiated water and heavy water as the crystal structure under a condition of converting into the gas hydrate of at least one of heavy water and tritiated water, and yet keeping light water in the liquid state, and

a step of separating tritiated water from heavy water
by breaking the gas hydrate structure containing tritiated water and heavy water, so as to get a liquid mixture,
by converting the liquid mixture containing tritiated water and heavy water into a gas hydrate containing tritiated water in the crystal structure under a condition of converting into a gas hydrate containing tritiated water in the crystal structure and yet keeping heavy water in the liquid condition and then,
by breaking the gas hydrate structure of tritiated water, so as to collecting tritiated water in that order.






Description

Technical Field



[0001] The present invention relates to a method for separating tritiated water from light water.

Background Art



[0002] Most of radioactive nuclear species in the contaminated water stored in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company are removed by ALPS treatment and coprecipitation with iron compounds and thus the radioactive nuclear species that remains in the contaminated water at a concentration higher than the regulated concentration when the contaminated water is released into public waters is only tritium, which is present as tritiated water (HTO).

[0003] The tritium concentration in the contaminated water is 0.6 to 5×106 Bq/L and the volume of the contaminated water is increasing by 400 m3/day every day. Thus, there is a need for development of a tritium-removing technology that can reduce the tritium concentration in the contaminated water at least to the environmentally allowable release concentration of 6×104 Bq/L or less (tritium concentration in sea water is 1 to 3 Bq/L) and has a processing rate of more than 400 m3/day.

[0004] Because the specific activity of tritium (T) is 3.59×1014Bq/g, the concentration of tritiated water in the contaminated water is extremely low at 1.86 to 9.29×10-8 g/L, but approximately 99% or more of the tritiated water is desired to be removed.

[0005] The idea of separating tritiated water from light water, utilizing the difference in the crystallization temperature of the gas hydrate between tritiated water and light water is already known (Patent Document 1). However, the concentration of tritiated water is extremely low in the contaminated water as described above, and when the gas hydrate containing tritiated water but not containing light water, is desired to be crystallized, the concentration is too low to form critical nucleus even though its precursor may be formed, and it is thus impossible in practice to crystallize the tritiated water.

[0006] Although there are many proposals separating the gas hydrate from liquid phase by floating or sedimentation separation, utilizing the difference in their specific density, for separation of liquid phase and gas hydrate crystal (Non-Patent Literatures 1 and 2), in the case of separation of tritiated water from light water, it is not possible to separate them sufficiently only by gravity, because the difference in specific density is very small, although the separation efficiency may depend on the gas used and the type of the hydrate structure formed.

[0007]  Although a centrifugal method may be used, it is not practical as it demands high-speed and long-term separation operation because of the small particle diameter of the gas hydrate crystal.

[0008] Under the circumstances above, there is currently no industrially feasible method of separating tritiated water from light water.

Citation List


Patent Literature



[0009] [Patent Document 1] JP-A No. 2005-139015

Non-Patent Literature



[0010] 

[Non-Patent Document 1] Susumu Saito, "Gas hydrate method," Bulletin of the Society of Sea Water Science, Japan, Vol. 22, No. 1 (1968) pp. 114 to 124

[Non-Patent Document 2] Toshio Nishimoto, Toshio Hashimoto, and Nobuo Okabayashi, "Concentration of sea water and brine by gas hydrate method," No. 17, Scientific papers of Hofu Salt Experiment Station, Japan Monopoly Corporation, 22 (1969), pp. 71 to 78


Summary of the Invention


Technical Problem



[0011]  An object of the present invention is to provide an industrially feasible method for separating tritiated water from light water.

Solution to Problem



[0012] The present invention relates to a method for separating tritiated water from light water, comprising:

a step of removing tritiated water and heavy water from light water by

adding heavy water to a liquid mixture containing tritiated water and light water,

by converting into a gas hydrate consisting essentially of tritiated water and heavy water as the crystal structure under a condition of converting into the gas hydrate of at least one of heavy water and tritiated water, and yet keeping light water in the liquid state, and

a step of separating tritiated water from heavy water

by breaking the gas hydrate structure containing tritiated water and heavy water, so as to get a liquid mixture,

by converting the liquid mixture containing tritiated water and heavy water into a gas hydrate containing tritiated water in the crystal structure under a condition of converting into a gas hydrate containing tritiated water in the crystal structure and yet keeping heavy water in the liquid condition and then,

by breaking the gas hydrate structure of tritiated water, so as to collecting tritiated water in that order.



[0013]  In the method for separating tritiated water from light water according to the present invention, the liquid mixture containing tritiated water and heavy water obtained by breaking the gas hydrate containing tritiated water and heavy water in the crystal structure may be recrystallized repeatedly for removal or reduction of light water contained in the gas hydrate and then, the liquid mixture containing tritiated water and heavy water may be converted into gas hydrate of tritiated water under a condition of converting into the gas hydrate of tritiated water and yet keeping heavy water in the liquid state.

Advantageous Effects of Invention



[0014] It is possible according to the present invention to use heavy water repeatedly and separate industrially tritiated water from light water. Tritium separated from water may be used in an ultra-small reactor developed by Lockheed Martin Corporation, which is said to generate energy approximately 10,000,000 times larger than that generated by the same amount of fossil fuel, using nuclear fusion reaction with heavy water.

Brief Description of Drawings



[0015] 

Figure 1 is a flow chart showing a scheme of the method of the present invention.

Figure 2 is a schematic view of an apparatus in an embodiment of the present invention.


Description of Embodiments


<1. Method for separating tritiated water from light water>



[0016] A method for separating tritiated water from contaminated water according to the present invention is shown in Figure 1.

[0017] First, heavy water is added to a liquid mixture containing tritiated water and light water. Thus, tritiated water, light water, and heavy water are mixed.

[0018] The liquid mixture containing tritiated water and light water is so-called contaminated water, which may contain additionally components other than tritiated water and light water. Heavy water is at least one of D2O and DOH.

[0019] Because the gas hydrate of heavy water is similar to the gas hydrate of titiated water in the structure, the amount of the heavy water added to the contaminated water is an amount at which heavy water gas hydrate functions as seed crystal and tritiated water gas hydrate crystallizes as a mixture with heavy water gas hydrate. For example, it is approximately 104 times larger than the tritium concentration in the contaminated water. In this case, because the tritium concentration in the contaminated water is 1.86 to 9.29×10-8 g/L, as described above, the amount of heavy water added is approximately 0.01 to 50 wt % of the contaminated water.

[0020] After addition of heavy water, tritiated water and heavy water in the contaminated water are converted to gas hydrate under the condition where both or one of heavy water and tritiated water is converted to gas hydrate and yet light water remains in the liquid state.

[0021] The condition where at least one of heavy water and tritiated water is converted into the gas hydrate, varies according to a kind of a guest molecule used and also to a crystal structure of the gas hydrate formed. For example, in the case where the structure of the gas hydrate of the heavy water includes types I and II, the condition is set to a temperature and a pressure between the quadruple point (Q1) of the hydrate phase, ice phase, the water phase of heavy water and the gas phase of the guest molecule and the quadruple point (Q2) of the hydrate phase and the water phase, and the gas phase and the liquid phase of the guest molecule.

[0022] The guest molecule of the gas hydrate is not particularly limited and may be a molecule commonly used. Examples thereof include CH2F2 (HFC-32), Ar, Kr, N2, O2, Xe, H2S, CH4, CO2, C2H4, C2H6, C3H6, C3H8, C4H10, Freon gases, tetrahydrofuran (THF), acetone, and the like.

[0023] In particular, CH2F2 (difluoromethane), a gas called HFC-32, that will be described below in Examples, is preferred. Propane is also preferred.

[0024] A significantly different point from popular methods converting into the gas hydrate is that, when the mixture is converted into the gas hydrate in a supercooled state lower than Q1, as in popular conversion of gas hydrate, light water may also be crystallized in a process of a conversion of heavy water to gas hydrate, because the condition converting into the gas hydrate of heavy water is similar to that of light water. However, Q1 of light water is 0°C under atmospheric pressure, while that of heavy water is 3.82°C. The difference of approximately 4°C makes it possible to convert heavy water into the gas hydrate and yet to keep light water in the liquid state.

[0025] In order to reduce the number of the gas molecules except for the guest molecule, it is needed to remove gases contained in light water and heavy water, such as air, oxygen, and carbon dioxide gas before the conversion into the gas hydrate. The removal means is not particularly limited and a vacuum pump is usually used. The guest molecule is then mixed with light water and heavy water. The mixing means is not particularly limited and a gas bubbling method is usually used. The mixture is then converted into the gas hydrate after these treatments. Then, HFC-32 used as the guest molecule, which is more soluble in water, can accelerate the gas hydrate conversion.

[0026] However, if the mixture is converted into the gas hydrate in the supercooled state lower than Q1, as an usual process of the gas hydrate conversion, light water is also converted into the gas hydrate. Therefore, a process as described below is used. When the pressure of the gas is increased, while the temperature is kept in the temperature range in which light water is not solidified, a point of time, at least one of heavy water and tritiated water is crystallized, at least one of heavy water and tritiated water begin to be converted into the gas hydrate at one point of time, leading to drop of the gas pressure. Thus, a method of increasing the gas pressure is employed, so that the gas can be replenished. It is needless to say that the temperature is to be controlled in the range between Q1 and Q2 because heat is generated during the conversion into the gas hydrate.

[0027] The gas hydrate thus obtained, which includes a case where the gas hydrate is obtained under a condition of converting into the gas hydrate of heavy water, contains a solid converted into the gas hydrate of both tritiated water and heavy water. In that case, the crystal structure of the gas hydrate consists essentially of tritiated water and heavy water, and including additionally a small amount of light water into the gas hydrate crystal, but can be separated easily from light water that is mostly present in the liquid state simply by a known solid-liquid separation means such as filtration or centrifugation. Similarly when tritiated water is converted into the gas hydrate first, heavy water is converted into the gas hydrate. In the case of the contaminated water, the crystal structure of the gas hydrate thus crystallized contains the crystal-structured tritiated water in an amount of approximately 0.01 wt % with respect to the crystal-structured heavy water. Although the gas hydrate crystal is separated from a large volume of light water, it still contains the light water included in the crystal.

[0028] Then, the crystal structure of the gas hydrate consisting essentially of tritiated water and heavy water is broken. It may be melted by shifting at least one of the temperature and the pressure in the crystal of the gas hydrate from the condition of the converting into the gas hydrate to the direction weakening the bonding force of the hydrate. Specifically, the gas hydrate crystal is melted under at least one of heat and reduced pressure. It is possible in this way to separate both tritiated water and heavy water from the liquid from a large volume of light water. As a result, a liquid mixture containing heavy water and tritiated water and, additionally a small amount of light water is obtained.

[0029] The small amount of light water contained in the gas hydrate may be left, as it is, but may preferably be decreased. Recrystallization is preferred as such a method. The method utilizes fact that when it is repeated that a process of recrystallizing a liquid mixture containing tritiated water and heavy water obtained by breaking the gas hydrate containing both tritiated water and heavy water in the crystal structure is repeated, the gas hydrates grown to a certain size are left without destruction, but those in a size smaller than it are broken and recrystallized in the process, light water, which is hardly crystallized, remains in the liquid state, but yet tritiated water and heavy water, which are easily crystallized, are converted into the gas hydrate. The condition converting into the gas hydrate during the recrystallization may be a supercooled state colder than the condition converting into the gas hydrate between Q1 and Q2. Details will be described below.

[0030] The liquid mixture including tritiated water and heavy water thus obtained is converted into the gas hydrate under a condition of converting tritiated water into the gas hydrate but yet leaving heavy water in the liquid state. The basic concept of this gas hydrate conversion process is the same as the phase transformation of the gas hydrate described above. Q1 of heavy water is 3.82°C, while Q1 of tritiated water is 4.49°C under atmospheric pressure. Although the difference is not large, it is possible to promote conversion of tritiated water into the gas hydrate, and yet keep heavy water in the liquid state, if the temperature is controlled adequately. In this way, tritiated water can also be separated from heavy water. The heavy water can be used repeatedly.

<2. Apparatus for separating tritiated water from light water>



[0031] A known apparatus is used as the apparatus for the crystallization of the gas hydrate of both heavy water and tritiated water or of tritiated water according to the method of the present invention. For example, used is an apparatus having a reaction tank for crystallization, a circulation pipe being placed outside the reaction tank, and connecting the top to the bottom of the reaction tank, and a pump feeding the content of the reaction tank upward from the bottom to the top and being placed in the intermediate region of the pipe. A temperature in the pipe is not particularly limited, if it is higher than the crystallization temperature, but it is usually set to a temperature slightly higher than that of the reaction tank. The crystals of the gas hydrate in the reaction tank are trapped when they grow to a size larger than a filter pore size, and crystals smaller than the filter pore size return to the reaction tank, as they are melted during the circulation in the pipe and are recrystallized therein. The gas hydrate crystals in the reaction tank keep growing by the mechanism. After the crystals have grown to a certain size, the circulation of the liquid phase is hindered and a differential pressure of the pump increases. It is possible to separate the hydrate crystals from the liquid phase by removing the liquid phase in the reaction tank at this stage.

[0032] An example of the separation apparatus used in the present invention is shown in Figure 2.

[0033] It has a contaminated water tank 11 containing the contaminated water to be treated, a heavy water tank 12 and a light water tank 13. Although not shown in the Figure, a vacuum pump is connected to each of the contaminated water tank 11 and the heavy water tank 12 for removal of dissolved gases. The heavy water tank 12 contains heavy water to be added to the contaminated water, but may be used for storage of the heavy water recovered by the separation method of the present invention. The light water tank 13 is a tank for storage of the light water separated and recovered from the tritiated water by the separation method of the present invention.

[0034] The circulation pump 21 is a pump for circulation of the contaminated water and heavy water to the reaction tank 31, and the gas cylinder 22 is filled with a substance for converting for the gas hydrate, such as propane gas.

[0035] As will be described in detail below, the reaction tank 31 is an apparatus for converting into the gas hydrates of both the heavy water and tritiated water for converting into the gas hydrate of tritiated water.

[0036] The thermostatic water tank 41 is an apparatus that stores the contaminated water supplied from the contaminated water tank 11 by the circulation pump 21 and the heavy water supplied from the heavy water tank 12 by the circulation pump 21, and regulates the temperature of these waters under a condition of converting into the gas hydrate by the instrumentation unit 51.

[0037] The instrumentation unit 51 has a flow meter 52, a thermometer 53, and a pressure control unit 54 adjusting the pressure from the gas cylinder 22 to a pressure converting into the gas hydrate.

[0038] The reaction tank 31 receives both the contaminated water and heavy water, controlled at a temperature converting into the gas hydrate with the thermostat of the water tank 41 and supplied by the circulation pump 21. Also the reaction tank 31 receives the gas from the gas cylinder 22 after it is pressurized to the condition converting into the gas hydrate by the instrumentation unit 51. Both the contaminated water and the heavy water are mixed by bubbling in the reaction tank 31, and so converting into the gas hydrate.

[0039]  Although not shown in the figure, the circulation pipe for connecting the reaction tank 31 to the circulation pump 21, contains a filter and, as described above, the gas hydrate crystals grown to a size larger than the filter pore size in the reaction tank 31 are trapped, while the crystals smaller than the filter pore size are melted during circulation in the pipe, return back to the reaction tank 31, and are recrystallized therein. When the gas hydrate crystals in the reaction tank 31 grow to such a size that circulation of the liquid phase is hindered by the mechanism, the differential pressure of the pump increases. When the liquid phase in the reaction tank is removed in this stage, the hydrate crystal and the liquid phase are separated from each other.

(Example 1)



[0040] A commercially available reagent of tritiated water was mixed with ultrapure water to a tritium concentration of 5×105 Bq/L, to give a test sample water. After the sample water was placed in the reaction tank, the same amount of heavy water was added thereto. The sample water containing the added heavy water was deaerated under a reduced pressure by a vacuum pump. The operation was carried out at 19.0°C.

[0041] HFC-32 gas was supplied into the reaction tank at a constant rate, while temperature of the reaction tank was held at 19.0°C. HFC-32 gas was dissolved into the water until the saturation and then a rate of pressure rise increased as soon as the saturation was reached. When the pressure increased and reached a condition of converting into the gas hydrate, gas hydrate crystals precipitated. As the pressure decreased rapidly when the gas was consumed for conversion into the gas hydrate, HFC-32 gas was introduced, as needed, into the tank for compensation of the pressure drop. The water precipitated as the hydrate under this temperature/pressure condition, includes light water, heavy water, and tritiated water. It was dissolved that gas hydrates having low degree of crystallinity, passing through the external circulation unit in the way that the temperature of the water passing through the external circulation unit was heated to a temperature sufficiently higher than the Q2 temperature (20.0°C) of light water.

[0042] The temperature in the reaction tank was also raised gradually from 19.0°C. The temperature was raised to 22.5°C at which light water gave a hydrate in an unstable phase, while both heavy water and tritiated water gave hydrates in a stable phase.

[0043] The reaction was continued under this condition and the liquid phase in the reaction tank was discharged when the flow of the external circulation unit decreased. The liquid phase discharged was degassed, as it was heated under a reduced pressure. The degassed liquid sample was light water and the concentration of tritiated water contained therein was determined. The measurement was performed by liquid scintillation method. Results are summarized in Table 1.

[0044] The hydrate crystals remaining in the reaction tank was melted while degassed, by heating under a reduced pressure. The degassed liquid sample, was a mixture of heavy water and tritiated water being concentrated. Instead of the operation described above, the hydrate crystals remaining in the reaction tank was liquefied under a reduced pressure and placed in another reaction tank as the sample water for use in operation of separation heavy water from tritiated water.

[0045] HFC-32 gas was fed into the reaction tank at a constant rate, while the temperature of the reaction tank was held at 19.0°C. HFC-32 gas was dissolved into the water until saturation and then rate of the pressure rise was increased as soon as saturation was reached. When the pressure reached the condition of converting into the gas hydrate, the crystals of the gas hydrate precipitated. As the pressure decreased rapidly when the gas was consumed for converting into the gas hydrate, HFC-32 gas was introduced, as needed, into the tank for compensation of the pressure drop.

[0046] It was redissolved, that gas hydrate having low degree of crystallinity, passing through the external circulation unit, by setting the temperature of it heated to a temperature sufficiently higher than the Q2 temperature (approximately 23°C) of heavy water.

[0047] The temperature in the reaction tank was also raised gradually from 19.0°C. The temperature was raised to 24°C at which heavy water gave a hydrate in an unstable phase, while tritiated water gave a hydrate in a stable phase.

[0048] The reaction was continued under the condition and the liquid phase in the reaction tank was discharged when the flow rate of the external circulation unit decreased. The discharged liquid phase was degassed, as heated under a reduced pressure. The degassed liquid sample was heavy water.

[0049] The hydrate crystals remaining in the reaction tank was melted while degassed by heating under a reduced pressure. The degassed liquid sample was a mixture of heavy water and tritiated water and the concentration of tritiated water therein was determined. Results are summarized in Table 1.

(Example 2)



[0050] A commercially available reagent of tritiated water was mixed with ultrapure water to a tritium concentration of 5×105 Bq/L, to give a test sample water. Used apparatus was the same as that of the example 1. After the sample water was placed in the reaction tank, the same amount of heavy water was added thereto. The sample water containing the added heavy water was deaerated under a reduced pressure by the vacuum pump. The operation was carried out at 19.0°C.

[0051] HFC-32 gas was supplied into the reaction tank at a constant rate, while the temperature of the reaction tank was held at 22.5°C. HFC-32 gas was dissolved into the water until saturation and the rate of the pressure rise increased as soon as saturation was reached. When the pressure increased and reached the condition of converting into the gas hydrate, the gas hydrate crystals precipitated. As the pressure decreased rapidly when the gas was consumed for converting into the gas hydrate, HFC-32 gas was introduced, as needed, into the tank for compensation of the pressure drop. The water precipitated as the hydrate under the temperature / pressure condition, includes heavy water and tritiated water. Gas hydrates having low degree of crystallinity were dissolved, passing through a unit of the external circulation, in the way that the temperature of the water passing through the unit of the external circulation was heated to a temperature slightly higher than the Q2 temperature (approximately 23°C) of heavy water.

[0052] The temperature in the reaction tank was also raised gradually from 22.5°C to 23.5°C at which each of heavy water and tritiated water gave the hydrates in a stable phase while light water hydrate that crystallized as thermodynamically metastable phase was melted. The reaction was continued under this condition and the liquid phase in the reaction tank was discharged when flow of in the unit of the external circulation decreased. The liquid phase discharged was degassed, as it was heated under a reduced pressure. The degassed liquid sample was light water and the concentration of tritiated water contained therein was determined. Results are summarized in Table 1.

[0053] The hydrate crystals remaining in the reaction tank was melted while degassed by heating under a reduced pressure. The degassed liquid sample was a mixture of heavy water and tritiated water. The hydrate crystals remaining in the reaction tank was liquefied under a reduced pressure as sample water for the operation of the separation of heavy water from tritiated water.

[0054] HFC-32 gas was fed into the reaction tank at a constant rate, while the temperature of the reaction tank was held at 22.5°C. HFC-32 gas was dissolved into the water until the saturation and then a rate of the pressure rise was increased as soon as the saturation was reached. When the pressure reached the condition converting into the gas hydrate, crystals of the gas hydrate precipitated. As the pressure decreased rapidly when the gas was consumed for conversion into the gas hydrate, HFC-32 gas was introduced, as needed, into the tank for compensation of the pressure drop.

[0055] It was redissolved that gas hydrate having low degree of passing through the external circulation unit in the way that the temperature of the water passing through the external circulation unit was heated to a temperature slightly higher than the Q2 temperature (approximately 23°C) of heavy water.

[0056] The temperature in the reaction tank was also raised gradually from 19.0°C to 24°C at which heavy water gave a hydrate in the unstable phase while tritiated water gave a hydrate in the stable phase.

[0057] The reaction was continued under this condition and the liquid phase in the reaction tank was discharged when the flow of the external circulation unit decreased to a value smaller than a predetermined value. The liquid phase discharged was degassed, as it was heated under a reduced pressure. The degassed liquid sample was heavy water.

[0058] The hydrate crystals remaining in the reaction tank was melted while degassed by heating under a reduced pressure. The degassed liquid sample was a mixture of heavy water and tritiated water, and concentration of tritiated water therein was determined. Results are summarized in Table 1.

[0059] The tritium concentrations in the liquids after the first stage separation of the gas hydrate crystals from the liquid, and of concentrated tritiated water in the reacting tank of second stage
  Concentration of Tritiated water (Bq/L)
Example 1 After first-stage separation 1.4 × 103
After second-stage tritiated water concentration operation 1.4 × 108
Example 2 After first-stage separation 1.3 × 103
After second-stage tritiated water concentration operation 1.6 × 108

Reference Signs List



[0060] 
11:
Contaminated water tank
12:
Heavy water tank
13:
Light water tank
21:
Circulation pump
22:
Gas cylinder
31:
Reaction tank
41:
Thermostatic water tank
51:
Instrumentation unit
52:
Temperature control unit
53:
Thermometer
54:
Pressure control unit



Claims

1. A method for separating tritiated water from light water, comprising:

a step of removing tritiated water and heavy water from light water by

adding heavy water to a liquid mixture containing tritiated water and light water,

by converting into a gas hydrate consisting essentially of tritiated water and heavy water as the crystal structure under a condition of converting into the gas hydrate of at least one of heavy water and tritiated water, and yet keeping light water in the liquid state, and

a step of separating tritiated water from heavy water

by breaking the gas hydrate structure containing tritiated water and heavy water, so as to get a liquid mixture,

by converting the liquid mixture containing tritiated water and heavy water into a gas hydrate containing tritiated water in the crystal structure under a condition of converting into a gas hydrate containing tritiated water in the crystal structure and yet keeping heavy water in the liquid condition and then,

by breaking the gas hydrate structure of tritiated water, so as to collecting tritiated water in that order.


 
2. The method for separating tritiated water from light water according to Claim 1, wherein:

the liquid mixture containing tritiated water and heavy water obtained by breaking the gas hydrate containing tritiated water and heavy water in the crystal structure may be recrystallized repeatedly for removal or reduction of light water contained in the gas hydrate and then, the liquid mixture containing tritiated water and heavy water may be converted into gas hydrate of tritiated water under a condition of converting into the gas hydrate of tritiated water and yet keeping heavy water in the liquid state.


 




Drawing







Search report







Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description