Why should you be interested in helium?
Helium is the second most abundant element in the known universe, after hydrogen. Strangely, however, a shortage of helium will be faced in the near future (Scholes, 2011).
Why does the availability of helium matter?
It matters because it symbolises the dependency of modern society and future technology on fragile finite resources. And it matters in a practical sense because helium is used for many things, thus:
- Production facilities for electronics, microchips, LCDs and fibre optics
- Arc welding
- Food packaging
- Pressurising and purging vessels e.g. in rockets
- Scuba equipment
- Cryogenics: at -269 C liquid helium is the coldest medium possible
- Supercooled magnets such as in MRI scanners
- Science e.g. NMR spectrometers and gas chromatography
- Infrared scanners
- Weather balloons, airships and party balloons
- Growing silicon and germanium crystals
- Production of titanium and zirconium
- Some gas-cooled nuclear reactors
- The Large Hadron Collider at CERN
The main consumers of helium are:
- MRI scanners, 28%
- Space and Military Rockets, 27%
- Welding, 20%
Once helium is released into the atmosphere, it floats off into space, lost forever. As the cost of helium rises, so will the cost of all the above products and services, and in turn, the products and services which depend upon them. The cost of helium has been kept artificially low because the US government has been selling off large reserves that it accumulated during the cold war. The sell off will be complete in 2015, then demand must be met by current production facilities, which do not yet have the capacity to meet current demand. One analyst suggests that helium prices should be increased 20-fold to preserve supplies.
Helium occurs in natural gas reserves, from which it is isolated and purified. Major reserves and production facilities exist in the USA, Algeria and Russia, and smaller ones are in Poland, Qatar, Australia, China, India and Indonesia. Helium production is linked to natural gas (methane) production, since the same rock formations trap these and other gases. The amount of helium in such natural gases ranges from 0.001 % up to 7% (in one rare case) and it is separated from other gases by fractional liquefaction at progressively decreasing temperatures and increasing pressures. Presumably the methane isolated provides the energy for helium production.
Although helium is created continuously by nuclear reactions occurring in the Earth, most of this is very diffuse and will escape the atmosphere. There is a rare isotope of helium, He-3, produced as a by-product of the nuclear weapons industry, and used in nuclear energy research. Ironically, the decrease in nuclear weapons production is threatening supply of He-3 for peaceful means. Some people suggest (tongue-in-cheek, presumably) that we will have to collect He-3 from the Moon if we are to have nuclear fusion energy on Earth.
Helium is of course just one among many examples of limited resources upon which modern society has been built, and which once released into the environment cannot be recovered. Another example is phosphate fertiliser, essential for food production.
My message, as always, is that current ‘rich-country’ lifestyles are ultimately unsustainable, so the only possible outcome is de-growth (whether by choice or not). The concept of sustainable growth and development is a myth propagated by those who would benefit from it.
There is irony in the fact that helium is named after the Sun (Helios), the symbol of sustainability.
Scholes C.A., Helium: Is the party over? Chemistry in Australia, October 2011, pp 20-22. Royal Australian Chemistry Institute.
Comments 1 to 30:
i read a lot of stuff and i found that the way of writing to clearifing that exactly want to say was very good so i am impressed and ilike to come again in future..
dj und hochzeit
I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.
Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!
free facebook likes
free youtube views
decent post, stay aware of this fascinating work. It truly regards realize that this subject is being secured likewise on this site so cheers for setting aside time to talk about this! health tips
I think this is a decent article. You make this data fascinating and locks in. You give perusers a great deal to consider and I welcome that sort of composing. suite
Thank you for such a well written article. It’s full of insightful information and entertaining descriptions. Your point of view is the best among many. http://www.micoley.com/
Very useful info. Hope to see more posts soon!. upbed sample paper
Thank you so much for sharing this great blog.Very inspiring and helpful too.Hope you continue to share more of your ideas.I will definitely love to read. http://www.getallparts.com/
I have recently started a blog, the info you provide on this site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work. Video Takeover Review
I really impressed after read this because of some quality work and informative thoughts . I just wanna say thanks for the writer and wish you all the best for coming!. Holiday
Please share more like that. Discover More at seo by marketing1on1
Someone Sometimes with visits your blog regularly and recommended it in my experience to read as well. The way of writing is excellent and also the content is top-notch. Thanks for that insight you provide the readers! 100k Factory Ultra Edition review
This is a brilliant blog! I'm very happy with the comments!.. Salesenvy Review
You have a good point here!I totally agree with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views...hope more people will read this article!!! art naturals essential oil diffuser
Wow! This could be one of the most useful blogs we have ever come across on thesubject. Actually excellent info! I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort. Inbox Blueprint 2.0 review
It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it! van hire in Birmingham
including reasonable comments here... mihran kalaydjian
Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!.. www.dtv-installations.com
i am always looking for some free stuffs over the internet. there are also some companies which gives free samples. Windows Phone
including reasonable comments here... online marketing strategy
This is a truly good site post. Not too many people would actually, the way you just did. I am really impressed that there is so much information about this subject that have been uncovered and you’ve done your best, with so much class. If wanted to know more about green smoke reviews, than by all means come in and check our stuff. The Psystrology Method Review
i love reading this article so beautiful!!great job! Webkinz Login
Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. backlink service top gigs on fiverr …………… Buy BackLinks
Exactly, you're very kind of us about comment!. backlinks …………… Buy BackLinks
The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing... backlinks seo service …………… Buy BackLinks
Thanks for sharing this useful info.. best backlink building service …………… Blog Comments
Hi! Thanks for the great information you havr provided! You have touched on crucuial points! best backlink gig …………… Blog Comments
Nice Informative Blog having nice sharing.. best backlink gig fiverr $5 …………… Do You Want BackLinks? Contact Me
Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article. best backlink service …………… Blog Comments
Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have. best backlink service review …………… Buy High PR BackLinks
Your music is amazing. You have some very talented artists. I wish you the best of success. best fiverr gigs for seo …………… Buy High PR BackLinks
Thank you very much for keep this information. best fiverr seo gigs …………… Link Building
I read that Post and got it fine and informative. best link building service …………… Buy High PR BackLinks
Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! best quality link building service …………… Do You Want BackLinks? Contact Me
Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job. best seo backlink service …………… Buy BackLinks
I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business. best seo fiverr gigs …………… Link Building
I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues. best seo gigs on fiverr …………… Buy High PR BackLinks
Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. best seo link building services …………… Buy BackLinks
This is highly informatics, crisp and clear. I think that everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many things. blog commenting fiverr …………… Buy BackLinks
I love the way you write and share your niche! Very interesting and different! Keep it coming! blog commenting fiverr $5 …………… Buy High PR BackLinks
Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post! blog commenting seo service …………… Blog Comments
thank you for your interesting infomation. blog commenting service …………… Link Building
I havent any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us. blog commenting service high pr …………… Buy BackLinks
Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!. blog commenting service review …………… Buy BackLinks
This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article. blog commenting service seo …………… Buy BackLinks
I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.Thanks. blog commenting services cheap …………… Do You Want BackLinks? Contact Me
I can set up my new idea from this post. It gives in depth information. Thanks for this valuable information for all,.. buy dofollow blog comments …………… Link Building
This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value. Im glad to have found this post as its such an interesting one! I am always on the lookout for quality posts and articles so i suppose im lucky to have found this! I hope you will be adding more in the future... buy high pr blog comments …………… Do You Want BackLinks? Contact Me
Nice knowledge gaining article. This post is really the best on this valuable topic. cheap link building service …………… Buy High PR BackLinks
useful information on topics that plenty are interested on for this wonderful post.Admiring the time and effort you put into your b!.. cheap link building services …………… Do You Want BackLinks? Contact Me
Interesting and amazing how your post is! It Is Useful and helpful for me That I like it very much, and I am looking forward to Hearing from your next.. cheapest link building services …………… Blog Comments
This is a great post. I like this topic.This site has lots of advantage.I found many interesting things from this site. It helps me in many ways.Thanks for posting this again. dofollow backlink service …………… Blog Comments
Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts. dofollow backlink service …………… Blog Comments
You have a good point here!I totally agree with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views...hope more people will read this article!!! dofollow backlink services …………… Buy High PR BackLinks
Just admiring your work and wondering how you managed this blog so well. It’s so remarkable that I can't afford to not go through this valuable information whenever I surf the internet! dofollow backlinks …………… Link Building
I found your this post while searching for information about blog-related research ... It's a good post .. keep posting and updating information. dofollow blog commenting service …………… Buy BackLinks
Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me. dofollow high pr backlink service …………… Do You Want BackLinks? Contact Me
Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article. rhythmandpower.com
Hello, I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject. video games news
You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. college paper writing service
thanks for the tips and information..i really appreciate it.. Portion for Cat
Football is one of Adidas' qualities - its fundamental center is creating football packs and related gear.
french open live
Adidas gives attire to groups in Major League Soccer and supplies group units for some global football groups.
Roland Garros Direct
These units incorporate football boots, for example, Adidas' Predator, F50 and adiPure range.watch Roland Garros live
Post a Comment
You need to be logged in to post a comment. Login via the left margin or register a new account.