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Re: Whats in Helium?



Hi Bob:
Helium is a noble gas, that it is not a natural occurring gas.  It is not made
by compressing the atmosphere air.  It is a United States strategical element
used by the Department of Defense, and the highest reserves in the world are
located in the USA.  It is located in sealed pressurized pockets in the earth
crust. Because it has taken millions of years to be "created" from isotopes
decay.  Due to this fact Helium is very expensive.  It is used in gas
chromatography and also used in specialized radio astronomy receivers to lower
the temperature near absolute zero, where noise figures of those receivers are
extremely low ( I think it is used here in the Arecibo Radio telescope, near
my home in liquid state, they also use liquid nitrogen I have been told).  Now
to your second question how you can you buy a better grade cylinder of Helium
Gas.  You can order a better grade by ordering the same it is used for
chemical analysis by gas chromatography.  There are 2 types used.  Helium Zero
grade (99.99% ) and Ultra High Purity Helium (99.99999%).  I do not know how
much you paid for the one you bought, but I have paid up to $200.00 dollars
and more for the Ultra one.  The size of the cylinder is the "normal" 5 foot
or so high, cylinders.  The cheap helium sold to fill birthday balloons may be
80 percent or less quality.  You can buy it at your local AGA Gasses store (
it is special order). If you are lucky and  if there is  chemical,
petrochemical or pharmaceuticals industries or a University where you live
there maybe good opportunity that they have it in stock.
Hope this helps.
Angel Ramos
KP4TE
Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Bob Bruninga wrote:

> I got lots of replies about the difusion of helium through the balloon
> walls, but I think everyone pretty well knows that..  My point was
>
> "what is the 2/3rds of the stuff remaining that I paid for as "helium"
> that did *not* difuse through the balloon?
>
> So clearly they are selling cheap "helium" which is laced with 70% AIR.
>
> I guess you dont go to a party store to buy helium.  You must go to a gass
> supplier... for the real stuff...  But I would sure like to know the
> details and how you specify "real 100% helium" as opposed to party or
> watered down "helium"... before I get ripped off again...
>
> de WB4APR, Bob
>
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