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Oxygen Isotope Separation

The photo shows a part of the oxygen-18 enrichment production plant built recently by Klydon.

In the natural environment there are three oxygen isotopes. In the atmosphere their respective abundance is as follows: 16-O (99.76%), 17-O (0,04%) and 18-O (0.205%). All of these isotopes have applications in agronomy, marine biology, environmental science, biochemical research et al and also in medical diagnostics and therapy.

The medical applications of these isotopes have become attractive to Klydon and for this reason the oxygen-18 enrichment plant was built. At the moment the focus is on providing highly enriched 18-O isotopic water. The 18-O isotopic water (concentration 95-plus percentage) is a precursor for the production of flourodeoxyglugose (FDG) used in PET scans.
In the radiopharmaceutical industry enriched water (H218O) is irradiated with protons in a cyclotron and recovered as 18F-sodium fluoride by passing the irradiated water mixture through a carbonate type anion exchange resin column. The 18F- is retained on the column and eluded with potassium carbonate solution. The 18F-sodium fluoride is used for the synthesis of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose and other PET radiopharmaceuticals. The FDG is the source of positrons and has a half-life of 109.8 minutes. It is injected into a patient for medicinal imaging.

The oxygen-18 market is on the rise as the development of PET (Positron Emission Tomography) as a diagnostic medical procedure is growing worldwide. The phenomenal growth can be seen not only in the rising amout of PET-user package deals sold per year but also in the increasing amount of cyclotrons that are being planned and built.

The highly enriched oxygen-18 water and precursor pharmaceuticals are supplied as a package deal by PET Labs which is situated at Little Company of Mary Hospital.

For more information on Pet Labs follow the link:



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