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He - Helium
Where has all the Helium gone?

April Mixon
Chemistry 141 Instructor
Clark Community College
Vancouver, Washington

by
John Morris
Chemistry 141 Student
November 27, 2013

John Morris
November 29, 2013

If you have any questions. The content is limited in part due to the requested length of the paper and limited scope set by the instructor. Fall 2013. I hope that it meets and exceeds your requirements. if any on the modern day world It was a great experience to be able to identify the source and alternative uses of an element that is not a commonly discussed or thought about in daily dealings. please know that I am available to you to discuss it. periodicals. This includes the origin and discovery of the element. Sincerely. The majority of the information came from scholarly journals. and books. comments or concerns regarding this report. Historical uses and modern day uses leading up to a current and projected shortage addressing the reason for the shortage and its impact. the report discusses background information on an element.3 April Mixon Clark College Dear A: Attached please find Formal Paper as part of the requirements for Chemistry 141 &. John Morris Table of Contents . Thank you for your time in reading this report. As outlined in the Element of your choosing. academic web sites.

1 Element description ..5 Cover page…………………………………………………………………………………………i Letter of Transmittal………………………………………………………………………………ii Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………………………iii Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………....2 References………………………………………………………………….……….1 The Importance of Helium Today ……………………………………………………….…………………….2 Conclusion ..3 .……………..…2 The Importance of Helium Today ……………………………………….………………………………………………………………………………….....……………...……………………………………………………1 Modern Day Helium ………………………………………………….……………….

who was studying the chromosphere of the Sun during a solar eclipse. “on Earth” is the game changing factor. Helium was first discovered in 1868. conservation and value are not of importance and has limited impact on the day to day lives of humans on earth. Helium has a very low boiling point. The Element Helium identified on the periodic table as He. The Electron configuration for Helium 1S2 and the atomic weight for Helium is 4. Generally. and tasteless.Introduction: Helium is a very abundant element. it is the second most abundant element in the Universe. Helium (He) is a noble gas. 4 . Helium is very small and extremely light. Jensen. During his observation. Although helium is the second most abundant element in the universe. It is colorless. An astronomer Joseph Lockyer and a chemist Edward Frankland found helium to be an element and named it after Helios. odorless. which Jenssen concluded as an element not previously known.3 kJ/mol. new yellow light was observed. The atomic number of Helium is 2. Ramsays studies of a radioactive element showed that a by-product of the natural breakdown of some radioactive elements was an inert gas which was found to be helium. In the Case of Helium. the Greek word for the Sun. C. In 1895. The properties of Helium include being colorless. by the French astronomer P. Helium is inert and very small in regards to atomic Radii as identified by its placement in the top most far right element on the Periodic Table. In fact. It is the least reactive of all elements as a Noble gas and does not react with other elements or ions.1 The only element more abundant is the element Hydrogen. Element description: As previously mentioned. following the trends on the periodic table Helium has a very low Ionization energy of 2372. odorless and tasteless.2 This property (non-reactivity) means that there are no minerals or compounds containing Helium that occur naturally on Earth. Additionally. when something is as abundant as Helium. J.003. the existence of helium on Earth was proved by Sir William Ramsay. it is lighter than air and most of it in the Earth’s atmosphere bleeds off into space.

Inc. Finally.0004% of Earth's atmosphere containing helium. in May of 2013. the U.Modern Day Helium: Helium used for industrial purposes.S.” 2 The importance of Helium today. Most people are only familiar with Helium being used to fill balloons and the funny sound voices make after inhaling helium. Helium is used as a cooling medium for nuclear reactors as well as a breathing mixture for deep sea divers to help avoid nitrogen poisoning or “the Bends”. the director of Helium sourcing for Air Products and Chemicals. The reality can be that Helium is essential to the future of scientific research. Today. Helium is critically essential in producing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Further. This Reserve is managed under the Department of the Interior as part of the Federal Helium Program which is run by the Bureau of Land Management. In the natural gas fields near Amarillo. the list does give a sense of the impact Helium has on the lives of human society. Currently.2 Kelvin. The United States government began storing Helium in 2 1925 when it was discovered in such high concentration in comparison to the only 0 . only Helium can keep the magnets that cold and still provide for stability in the magnetic fields that allow MRI systems to function. is a byproduct of natural gas production. Despite the actions taken above. the future technology of cryogenics and the current production of semiconductors are heavily reliant upon Helium Conclusion: The many uses listed above are in no way all inclusive. comes from the U..S. Walter Nelson.S. Nearly half of that total. Helium today is an integral part of healthcare and scientific research. Recommendation: One theory regarding the current shortage and the future abundance of Helium reserves on Earth is that in 1996 when the United States Government decided to privatize the collection and processing of Helium that the demand for Helium was minimal and . Federal Helium Reserve. Helium is used in for finding leaks due to its small size in scientific 3 applications such as vacuum and pressurizing liquid fuels in rockets. notify congress that the world’s supply of Helium “could be depleted by 2018. and essential to continued exploration in the ocean and in space. Additionally. or roughly 35 percent of the world’s helium supply. The Magnet in an MRI machine uses superconducting wire that is cooled to 4. government maintains the country’s largest helium storehouse. Essential to advances in medicine and healthcare. TX the U. alone produces a majority of the world’s 1 helium at 75 percent.

2005. 2007. 3. 2006. Encyclopedia of the elements. 2. (2004).cern. Available at http://www. Therefore. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).not understood as having too large an impact.html . the value of Helium to capitalist markets was undervalued. 2003. respectively. 2008.ch/sm18public/presentation/Cryogenic%20technology%20for%20LHC. Available at http://www. Helium Operations.html . and 2008. Bhunia. References 1.doc. Cryogenics for LHC Dipole. 2009. Enghag. Amarillo Field Office.. http://environmentalchemistry.gov/nm/st/en/prog/energy/helium/helium_operators_information/statistical_reports0. 2007. Either the Government needs to resume its former position of stockpiling or the private sector needs to scoop up the opportunity. Statistical Reports December 2005. Now. the reserves are being depleted in accordance with the government decision to no longer accumulate Helium. U. 2006.com/yogi/periodic/He. P.blm. Last accessed on June 30. 4. while no large scale Helium production and stockpiling has occurred in the private sector.