Letter | Published:

Tritium Contamination of Deuterium Compounds


Two reports1–2 have appeared which indicate that various commercial deuterated reagents and solvents contain appreciable quantities of tritium. Because this matter is of concern especially in view of the wide use of deuterated compounds as solvents for n.m.r. spectroscopy I wish to report that these observations are in error. Leete1 indicated that only the deuterium oxide (D2O) supplied by one company was low in tritium. In fact D2O supplied by that company before the middle of 1971 was, at times, also high in tritium, and since then D2O supplied by most companies has been low in tritium. The US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) is the prime source of D2O to nearly all suppliers and the results shown in Table 1 illustrate the dramatic reduction in tritium content of recent samples of D2O obtained from the AEC.

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  1. 1

    Leete, E., and Chedekel, M. R., Nature, 236, 166 (1972).

  2. 2

    Jordan, P., and May, K., Experientia, 27, 1146 (1971).

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