How is Helium extracted at Noble Gas Solutions

In the news there has been a lot of dialogue surrounding the apparent lack of Helium accessible in Albany and elsewhere around the world. This causes concern considering that this gas is applied throughout multiple industries in Albany. Uses for the gas include:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Lifting gas – for hot air balloons and smaller leisure balloons
  • Breathing Mixtures – for deep-water diving and medical treatments
  • Welding Gas – utilized as a shielding atmosphere

Helium is a result of radioactive decay in natural gas. Therefore since natural gas has the most volume of helium, most specialty gas laboratories like Noble Gas Solutions will extract Helium via natural gas. There are also limited amounts of helium in the air which can also be mined, however the process for that is expensive and rarely used.

Helium is sometimes removed from natural gas through a cryogenic piping system. The natural gas is pressurized, and then passed through a sieve. During this scrubbing process, helium is separated from natural gas so that only crude helium remains. At this point, since the crude helium is only about 50% pure, more purification processes are warranted.

The crude helium is then diminished to -315 degrees Fahrenheit so that any residual nitrogen or methane gases become liquefied and can be easily drained from the gas. The heat on the helium is then turned up and oxygen is added to the gas so that any remnant traces of hydrogen will mix with the oxygen creating water. Once the water vapors are formed, the mixture is decreased and the water is removed from the mixture.

Once the water has been removed, the Helium then goes into vessels filled with tiny particles for additional sanitization of the gas (think of the carbon water filters in most homes in Albany today). This activity is repeated until the Helium is 99.99% pure specialty gas.

We at Noble Gas Solutions take this filtering process very serious as multiple industries, from the healthcare industry to the food & beverage industry, rely on our specialty gases for the best possible experience.

To learn more on how your company can get the best Helium in Albany, contact Noble Gas Solutions today.