How is Helium extracted at Coastal Welding Supply

As of late there has been plenty discussion surrounding the apparent lack of Helium accessible in Beaumont and elsewhere around the world. This is a big concern given that this gas is applied throughout multiple industries in Beaumont. 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 applications
  • Welding Gas – used as a protective atmosphere

Helium is a result of radioactive decay in natural gas. Therefore since natural gas has the most amounts of helium, most specialty gas laboratories like Coastal Welding Supply will extract Helium via natural gas. There are also small amounts of helium in the air which can also be obtained, however the process for that is expensive and rarely used.

Usually helium is separated from natural gas through a cryogenic piping system. The natural gas is pressurized, and then travels through a sieve. Throughout the entire progression, helium is separated from natural gas so that only crude helium remains. At this point, since the crude helium is only about 50% pure, increased purification processes are needed.

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 remaining particles of hydrogen will mix with the oxygen creating water. Once the water vapors are formed, the mixture is cooled back down and the water is withdrawn from the mixture.

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

We at Coastal Welding Supply take this purification 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 most genuine Helium in Beaumont, contact Coastal Welding Supply today.