Helium

Helium

Purity : 99.9%

Capacity : 7.00 Cu. M

Helium is a chemical element and a colorless, odorless, tasteless, inert gas. It has the smallest atomic radius of any element and the second lowest atomic weight. It is lighter than air.

Most people know that helium is used as a lifting gas in blimps and party balloons, but they can't name another way in which it is used. The number one use of helium is as a cooling gas for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines used in medical facilities. Other important uses of helium include: a protective gas for welding, an inert gas for controlled atmosphere manufacturing, a fugitive gas used for leak detection, and a low viscosity gas for pressurized breathing mixtures.

Category: . Tag: .

Product Description

Where Does Helium Come From?

Very little helium is present in Earth’s atmosphere. It is such a light element that Earth’s gravity can not hold it. When present at Earth’s surface, unconfined helium immediately begins rising until it escapes the planet. That’s why party balloons rise!

The helium that is produced commercially is obtained from the ground. Some natural gas fields have enough helium mingled with the gas that it can be extracted at an economical cost. A few fields in the United States contain over 7% helium by volume. Companies that drill for natural gas in these areas produce the natural gas, process it and remove the helium as a byproduct.

Why is Helium in Some Natural Gas?

Most of the helium that is removed from natural gas is thought to form from radioactive decay of uranium and thorium in granitoid rocks of Earth’s continental crust. As a very light gas it is buoyant and seeks to move upward as soon as it forms. The richest helium accumulations are found where three conditions exist: 1) granitoid basement rocks are rich in uranium and thorium; 2) the basement rocks are fractured and faulted to provide escape paths for the helium; and, 3) porous sedimentary rocks above the basement faults are capped by an impermeable seal of halite or anhydrite. [1] When all three of these conditions are met, helium might accumulate in the porous sedimentary rock layer.

Helium has the smallest atomic radius of any element, about 0.2 nanometers. So, when it forms and starts moving upward it can fit through very small pore spaces within the rocks. Halite and anhydrite are the only sedimentary rocks that can block the upward migration of helium atoms. Shales that have their pore spaces plugged with abundant organic materials (kerogen) sometimes serve as a less effective barrier.

Uses of Helium

Helium has a number of properties that make it exceptionally well-suited for certain uses. In some of these uses, helium is the best possible gas to use and in a few there is no adequate substitute for helium. Several uses of helium along with the properties that make it suitable for the use are described below.

hepanel

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Helium”