Helium was an initial discovered in the sun’s corona in 1868.The surname is obtained from ‘Helios’ which means ‘sun’ in Greek andhas a boiling suggest of -268.9 Celsius.

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It is a colorless,odorless and also completelynonreactive.

It’s the just gas lighter than air other than for hydrogen – i beg your pardon is highly flammable.

Balloon gas is a mixture of largely helium and some atmospheric gases. The is a by product that the helium gas industry and also cannot be used in science and scholastic applications.


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Natural gas handling field


Where is balloon gas obtained from?​

Balloon gas is primarily a by-product from various other filling applications.Itis derived in the same means as for other helium applications: helium is extracted from mining natural gas fields or CO2 fields and also liquefied prior to being shipped into the market. Helium is then sold in one of two people liquid kind (in containers or dewars) or gaseous kind (in tube trailers, majority or cylinders) and in a range of purities to satisfy supply needs.

Gaseous helium supplied in balloons is the product with the lowest concentration of helium of all the pure helium products.

For some gas manufacturers - balloon gas is simply a by-product from bottling helium and other commercial appliances that would have otherwise to be wasted. Rather of losing the gas come atmosphere, it is captured and sold together balloon gas rather of helium due to it's high level that impurity.


Is that a garbage to use it on balloons?​

The straightforward answer is no – it is no a waste.As cylinders that pure helium space filled, the escaped gas mixes with air and is captured and also compressed right into cylinders as balloon gas. Part manufacturers catch this helium as soon as filling MRI scanners.

Manufacturers have stated that this wasted helium is taken into consideration a ‘recycled product’ as it would have been shed to the setting had it no been captured and also re-purposed.If the balloon market need declined, manufacturers would have to re-evaluate other markets and consider the possibilities that re-liquefying it. Re-liquefying is right now considered uneconomical native the places of where the filling applications take place.

Let’s no forget the the balloon sector is just one application and makes up much less than 10% of the global helium market, there room several other applications that also use helium.


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Balloon gas cylinder


Can us recycle it rather of using it ~ above balloons?

Since the helium shortage ended towards the end of 2013 over there is at this time no much more allocation between helium applications, i.e. No competition in between which applications room to be supplied with helium. However, recycling helium is feasible if necessary.

Some helium clients re-liquefy your helium onsite to decrease dependency on external purchases. For fixed plant this functions well as a procedure and becomes economically viable end a number of years.

Most manufacturers can potentially recycle helium but the logistics of doing this would certainly be too an overwhelming and uneconomical. The expense of capturing and purifying the escaped helium far outweighs what it can be marketed for. In order to capture and purify the gas, the price of transferring the by-product back to your plant, price of re-compression and/or re-liquefying versus the original expenses of production right now make this alternative nonviable.


What % that helium balloon gas is actually helium and what rather is in it?

Global purity for balloon gas is about 95% helium. ALbee Fly, Helibal, Helial, Carbalon, Ballongas, Ballonal, Helihi are simply some the brand names because that balloon gas. Other main contents of balloon gas space nitrogen and also oxygen.

Some manufacturers have actually advised us that their balloon gas has actually a mixture that helium, O2, nitrogen & traces of wait (atmosphere gases not intentionally added). Margin in purity because that balloon helium can be quite large but a minimum of 92% is required for the balloon come float. For part bottling manufacturers – purity is measured in ~ bottling point and a gas certificate is sent with the cylinders if a one-of-a-kind mixture is requested.


Why can’t we use it in science and also academia applications instead?

Depending ~ above the application, the forced quality and also purity that helium varies. Because that some clinical applications the forced helium purity can be 99.9999% and nearly reach 100% purity for liquid applications (at -269°C) – balloon gas is far brief of this. Again, as the helium shortage finished in 2013 no priority was collection for where helium have to be used.

There is nothing stopping science and scholastic institutions utilizing the blended gas other than the premium expense of re-processing the impure helium to pure helium together high purity is compelled in science and academia.


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Liquid helium dewar


How much helium perform we have and also are us running out?

This is daunting to predict as it relies on supply and also demand – yet no shortage is anticipated.

One manufacturer has advised united state they execute not foresee any type of end to helium availability. Together an example, a major new helium gas field has been found in Tanzania in June 2016. Its approximated helium sources may be able to supply 8 year of the current global annual helium consumption. This has actually been discovered using a brand-new detection technique which will emphasis on finding brand-new helium reserves rather of obtaining helium from mining organic gas.

Another manufacturer together advised united state that to calculation the amount of helium to make reservation is difficult. Several of this is dependent on finding new reserves such together recently found in Russia and Qatar (in 2014), and also how we use helium i.e. Supply and also demand. It has been suggested that one details project the helium discovery will create the largest reserves that helium that will certainly be seen.

In addition to this, part applications wherein helium was being provided are being occurred to use alternate gases such as

helium free MRI scanners and air bags wherein Argon deserve to be used as a substitution.

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The scare of ahead shortages have actually resulted indigenous a disruption come the it is provided chain in spite of reserves being available.


Some offers for pure helium

MRI medical scanners to cool super conducting magnets

Large Hadron Collider (cooling application)

NMR spectrometers (cooling application)

Satellite instruments (cooling application)

Provides inert atmosphere for manufacturing fibre optics, semi conductors and arc welding