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Difference Between Water and Heavy Water

water-pdWater vs Heavy Water

Water is the lifeline of all living organisms. About 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. Heavy water is also water, but it contains a higher proportion of the hydrogen isotope – deuterium.

Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom makes a water molecule. Deuterium is very much the same as that of normal hydrogen, but contains an extra neutron. It is this extra neutron that adds to the weight of the atom, which makes it heavier.

Both heavy water and water are quite different in their physical and chemical properties. While the freezing point of water is zero degrees Celsius, heavy water has a freezing point of 3.82 degrees Celsius. Heavy water has a slightly higher boiling point when compared to water. While the boiling point of water is 100 degrees, it is 101.4 degrees for heavy water.

In density as well, heavy water has a higher density when compared to water. The PH value of heavy water is 7.41 when compared to water’s PH value of 7. In terms of dynamic viscosity, heat fusion and heat of vaporization¬† heavy water has higher values than that of water. But water has higher value in surface tension and refractive index.

Another thing that can be seen is that the number of hydrogen bonds per molecule of water is higher in heavy water. This bondage gives heavy water a more tetrahedral shape, and the water a broader structure.

Water is vital for all living organisms, and no organism can live without it.

Heavy water is mainly used in nuclear reactors. Heavy water is used to slow down the neutrons that are released due to fission in the reactors. While water is essential for all, heavy water can be harmful to living organisms.

Summary:

1. Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom makes a water molecule. Heavy water is also water, but it contains a higher proportion of the hydrogen isotope – deuterium.

2. Heavy water has a higher freezing and boiling point when compared to water.

3. In terms of density, PH value, dynamic viscosity, heat fusion, heat of vaporization, surface tension and refractive index, heavy water has higher values than that of water.

4. Heavy water has a more tetrahedral shape, and the water has a broader structure.

5. While water is essential for all, heavy water can be harmful to living organisms.


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