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 the pharmacokinetic properties of the given compound,
  • internal standards in mass spectrometry,
  • compound structure determination in NMR spectroscopy.

The conventional methods for the synthesis of deuterated compounds utilize D2 gas as the deuterium source, however, they have drawbacks. Other approaches have been employed to overcome the difficulties, such as catalytic H-D exchange reactions between Hand D2O. These methods are usually time consuming, they do not produce high purity D2 and require high pressure, special catalyst or excess amount of a strong base or acid.

The H-Cube Mini Plus™, the H-Cube Pro™ and the H-Cube Midi™ continuous flow systems are capable of generating deuterium gas from the electrolysis of D2O with 99,98% purity.

Examples of continuous flow deuteration with the H-Cube series:

Continuous flow catalytic deuterodehalogenation
Orsy, G.; Fulop, F.; Mandity, I. M.; Green Chemistry, 2019, 21, 956-961

The deuteration of a THENA-derivative
Soponpong, J.; Dolsophon, K.; Thongpanchang, C.; Linden, A.; Thongpanchang, T.; Tetrahedron Letters, 2019, 60(6), 497-500

Links for further information

Switching from water to deuterium oxide

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