A Continuous-Distillation Apparatus for the Separation of He3 from He4

  • W. R. Wilkes
Part of the Advances in Cryogenic Engineering book series (ACRE, volume 16)


The commercial purification of He3 as well as that of other stable rare-gas isotopes has generally been performed in thermal-diffusion columns since the inception of the USAEC stable-isotopes separation program [1]. While thermal diffusion is a relatively straightforward method of isotope separation, it is inefficient in that it requires large quantities of electrical power. A single thermal-diffusion column may be 8 m long, and several columns must be cascaded in order to produce the desired separation.


Distillation Column Condenser Temperature Reflux Ratio Relative Volatility Helium Bath 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. R. Wilkes
    • 1
  1. 1.Mound LaboratoryMonsanto Research CorporationMiamisburgUSA

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