Deuteration

Deuterium-labeled compounds are widely used as research tools in chemistry. Their importance lies in a number of applications, such as:

  • proving reaction mechanisms
  • investigation of a compound's pharmacokinetic properties
  • internal standards in mass spectrometry
  • compound structure determination in NMR spectroscopy

Conventional techniques for the synthesis of deuterated compouns utilize D2 gas as a deuterium source. However, there are drawbacks to utilizing deuterium gas on a laboratory scale, such as the handling of the gas itself. Other methods have been employed to overcome this difficulty such as catalytic H-D exchange reactions between H2 and D2O. However, these methods are time consuming and do not produce high purity D2 and they also require high pressure, the use of a special catalyst, or an excess amount of a strong base or acid.

The H-Cube®, H-Cube Midi™ and H-Cube Pro™ countinuous flow systems are capable of generating deuterium gas from the electrolysis of D2O, which is readily available in 99,98% purity and is easy to handle.

Switching from H2O to D2O:

1. Replace existing catalyst with inert TiO2 or blank cartridge. Open the bottom of the water reservoir, remove DI water
2. Push the water tank purge on the info screen, and wait 30 sec to remove the remaining water
3. Close the water reservoir; fill the reservoir with 10 mL of heavy water
4. Use the water tank purge on the info screen, and wait 1 min to wash the water line properly with heavy water.
5. Open the bottom of the water reservoir, remove the normal-heavy water mixture.
6. Push the water tank purge on the info screen, and wait 30 sec to remove the remaining normal-heavy water mixture.
7. Close the water reservoir; fill the reservoir with heavy water
8. If it is important to remove the traces of the normal water, than repeat the points 4-7.
9. Start using the system with heavy water.
10. Place the new cartridge into H-Cube Pro and run heavy water through for a simulated run prior to real reaction.

deuteration, h-cube
Deuteration with the H-Cube® Reactor