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Chemistry

9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl
ISBN: 9781133611097

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Chemistry

9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl
ISBN: 9781133611097
Textbook Problem

Natural uranium is mostly nonfissionable 238U; it contains only about 0.7% of fissionable 235U. For uranium to be useful as a nuclear fuel, the relative amount of 235U must be increased to about 3%. This is accomplished through a gas diffusion process. In the diffusion process, natural uranium reacts with fluorine to form a mixture of 238UF6(g) and 235UF6(g). The fluoride mixture is then enriched through a multistage diffusion process to produce a 3% 235U nuclear fuel. The diffusion process utilizes Graham's law of effusion (see Chapter 8, Section 8-7). Explain how Graham’s law of effusion allows natural uranium to be enriched by the gaseous diffusion process.

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: Explanation of enrichment of natural uranium by Graham’s law of effusion through the gaseous diffusion process is to be stated.

Concept introduction: Since natural uranium 238U is mostly non-fissionable. Therefore it is enriched by gaseous diffusion process to increase the amount of fissionable 235U . This process is accomplished through Graham’s law of effusion.

To determine: An explanation of enrichment of natural uranium by Graham’s law of effusion through the gaseous diffusion process.

Explanation

Graham’s law of effusion expresses the inverse relationship between effusion of a gas and square root of its molecular weight.

The chemical reaction showing the diffusion process in which natural uranium react with fluorine is as follows,

92238U(s)+F2(g)238UF<

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