Using deuterium to assess hydrogen trapping

Using deuterium as hydrogen tracer is a powerful technique for assessing hydrogen pick-up during industrial processes. It provides OCAS with key knowledge on the hydrogen absorption behaviour and how to avoid pick-up in our customers processing steps.

Next to the mechanical testing in H-containing environments (H2S, H2, aquous), the OCAS test facilities include an in-house hydrogen lab to characterise hydrogen solubility, diffusivity and trapping.

In 2016, OCAS decided to start using deuterium (D – an isotope of hydrogen) for its hydrogen-related research. The major advantage of using deuterium over hydrogen is the absence of background noise when measuring.

The combination of the existing metallurgical lab simulation capabilities, and the use of deuterium in liquid (heavy water) or gas, allows OCAS to simulate various treatments (such as thermal treatment or electrochemical treatment), in which deuterium instead of hydrogen is introduced into the material.
This methodology allows OCAS to conduct more detailed fundamental studies by reproducing the full material process cycle under deuterium containing environment.

“Using deuterium as hydrogen tracer is a powerful technique for assessing hydrogen pick-up during industrial processes, so that we can find ways to lower this uptake.”

Laura Moli Sanchez, Research Engineer Metallurgy, OCAS