To eliminate helium supply shortage, a large amount of helium is discovered in Tanzania

ByFrances Cacnio

Helium, which is known as a levitating gas that can be handled more safely than burning / explosive hydrogen, is also used in the manufacture of MRI and optical fiber. For this reasonThere is a supply shortage worldwide, and there is a danger of exhaustion after 25 yearsAlthough it was said, in Tanzania large "helium gas field" was discovered that can save this situation.

Huge helium discovery 'a life-saving find' | EurekAlert! Science News

Discovery of massive new helium reserves is "game changer" for medical industry | Ars Technica UK "World-class" helium field in Tanzania, cancellation of supply shortage - (1/2)

Mizuho Information Research Institute announced in February 2015 "(PDF file)Investigation on the World Supply and Demand of Health Survey in FY2004 Foundation Technology"Demand for helium has been rising on the right side and it is expected that this trend will continue in the future. On the other hand, although supply from Qatar will increase, the supply volume from the United States will decrease, the supply volume as a whole will not increase so much, and the supply shortage situation will continue for demand It was.

The joint research team of Oxford University, Durham University, helium research company "Helium 1" notes that "the helium separates from the rock of the old age and accumulates in a shallow place due to the high fever generated by the volcanic activity" Then conduct a survey with a new approach. If the distance between the heat source and the place where the separated helium accumulates is too close, it may be diluted with carbon dioxide and it is necessary to be at an appropriate distance, but in central Africa ·Republic of TanzaniaofLarge trench beltAnd found a new "helium gas field".

According to Professor Chris Valentine, who is studying geoscience at Oxford University, the study team said, "We gathered samples of helium and nitrogen spouting like bubbling from the ground of the grooves." It is speculated that the helium reserves of the gas field found this time is 54 BCf (54 billion cubic feet, about 1.53 million cubic meters). This is a number equivalent to 1.2 million units when considered by MRI.

The annual consumption of helium at present is 8 BCf. This discovery will be of great help as the reserves in the United States, the largest helium supplier, are 24.2 BCf and the reserves in the entire US are considered 153 BCf.

Dr. Pete Barry, a colleague of Professor Valentine, said the method used this time is equally applicable elsewhere, and as further investigation proceeds, the possibility of discovering a new helium gas field There is also.

By the way, in Japan, consuming more than 60% of helium, mainly in MRI, optical fiber, semiconductor and leak test. As there was a shortage of supply from 2012 to 2013, consumption itself was declining as we worked on revising usage, using alternative gases, recycling, etc.

in Science, Posted by logc_nt