Tritiated water

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Tritiated water
File:Water molecule 3D.svg
CAS number 14940-65-9
PubChem 104752
MeSH tritium+oxide
Molecular formula T2O or 3H2O
Molar mass 22.0315
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Tritiated water is a form of water where the usual hydrogen atoms are replaced with tritium. In its pure form it may be called tritium oxide (T2O or 3H2O) or super-heavy water. Pure T2O is corrosive due to self-radiolysis. Diluted, tritiated water is mainly H2O plus some HTO (3HOH). It is also used as a tracer for water transport studies in life-science research. Furthermore, since it naturally occurs in minute quantities, it can be used to determine the age of various water-based liquids, such as vintage wines.

It should not be confused with heavy water, which is deuterium oxide.


Tritiated water can be used to measure the total volume of water in one's body. Tritiated water distributes itself into all body compartments relatively quickly. The concentration of tritiated water in urine is assumed to be similar to the concentration of tritiated water in the body. Knowing the original amount of tritiated water that was ingested and the concentration, one can calculate the volume of water in the body.

  • Amount of tritiated water (mg) = Concentration of tritiated water (mg/ml) x Volume of body water (ml)

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