What Is Heavy Water And What Are Its Uses?


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Shumaela Rana answered
Water containing a substantial proportion of deuterium atoms, used in nuclear reactors is called heavy water. Heavy water is colourless, odourless and tasteless liquid. Out of seven thousand parts of natural water, only one part exists as heavy water. It is supposed to be injurious to living organisms. The solubility of substances in heavy water also differs from those in ordinary water. Thus sodium chloride (NaCl) is about 15 percent less soluble in heavy water than in ordinary water. The repeated electrolysis of ordinary water yields heavy water. Heavy water is unfit for agricultural use as well. For example, tobacco seeds do not germinate in pure heavy water.

Heavy water is used as tracer in the study of reactions occurring in living organisms and other chemical reactions. It is also used in nuclear reactors as moderator (the substance used to moderate the speed of nuclear reactions) because in nuclear fission process (A nuclear reaction in which a massive nucleus splits into smaller nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy) it slows down the velocity of neutrons. It has also been used for the preparation of deuterium. All natural water contains a large amount of different salts. In addition to this natural water also contains carbondioxide which forms hydrogen carbonate ion with water.

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