Is The World Running Out Of Helium?

Helium is not a renewable resource, at least not on any human timescale. It’s not a fossil fuel, but it ismade very slowly by radioactive decay deep down in the sand. So in terms of managing it, we shouldbe treating it like a fossil fuel. Once it’s pulled up from the grind, exercised, and disbanded into the atmosphere, it is ludicrously expensive to recover. And over meter, that dispersed helium islight fairly and unreactive fairly that eventually, extremely, very slowly, it escapes off into gap, which is a problembecause helium is enormously useful. We use it in all sortsof science and medicine, to keep the magnets in MRI machines cool, in manufacturing treats, and, yes, to inflateblimps and party bags. And over the last decade or so, there have been a lot ofbreathless news articles proclaiming that the worldis running out of helium. A pile of the world’s helium comes fromunder the Great Plains of the USA. And here in Amarillo, Texas, the US government has the National Helium Reserve.At least, they do for now. – We’re standing on top of theBush Dome, the three gorges reservoir that acts as thestorage reservoir, which is approximately 3,500 feetunderground. As a rinse assimilates sea andholds that ocean in the sponge, similarly, the small openings in the rockare openings where the helium can reside. It’s solid rock to the eye, but it is porous and allows the gas to be storedvery efficiently underground. This supply was anatural gas reservoir. It was expended, then rechargedin the sixties with 32 billion cubic paws of heliuminto the ground. So it’s actually helium thatwe’ve infused previously that we’re extracting now. The whole curriculum was to conservethe helium for about 100 years of the intake pace then. Of course, helium has become such apopular part, it has so many uses, that are currently, that pace is quite a bit morethan initially estimated.That helium has been withdrawnover nearly 15 times. And we are now reachingthe end of our program as the field is declining in pressure. Helium is notoriously known for beingable to escape through any tiny opening. It’s used as a leak detection element. You can see helium quite easily. And if it’s able to get out, you have a holesomewhere in that device or concoction. By putting it back in the ground, it’s not leaking out of a stainless steelcontainer or a big truck, it’s easily observed and controlled. – The plant here is in its annualweek of upkeep right now, which is one of the reasonsI’m allowed to get fairly this close.There are still personas I’m notallowed to show you, though. – The equipment behind me isactually an improvement unit. All that gas that was stored inthe ground has mingled and blended with natural gas from the field, andit’s no longer in an enriched state. So by bringing it through the material, we take that gas back up to approximately 80% piety of helium, about 20% pollutant of nitrogen. That’s what we induce and send upour 425 -mile pipeline to the private helium plantsthat then take it to 100 %. There are places in the world that arerunning out of helium, that’s correct. But there’s still approximately8 0 to 100 years’ importance of known helium reservesin the United District, in Wyoming. So to say that we’re running out ofhelium is actually a little bit incorrect. There’s still a lot of helium availableand brand-new helium roots being concluded. With the recent increasesin the helium expenditure, that’s actually energized industryto go look for more helium riches. And they have found more. So we expect thatin the next few years, more of this heliumwill be brought to market. And the dearth will be alleviated, at least for a short period of time.- Running out of something onour current planetary scale doesn’t mean there suddenlywon’t be any at all. It only means that the price of what’s leftwill rise higher and higher and higher until the lower ply meetslower necessitate, which is likely to do some moredifficult to reach reservoirs of helium under the ground worth exploring. That’s capitalism. Because of all that uncertainty, the price of helium has been fluctuating a lotover the last few years. And researchers are often havingtrouble know enough fund to keep their ventures going. And yes, it’s why load party balloonsis getting really expensive. – We are now in the finaltwo years of our curriculum and facing the last part ofour privatization effort.By its first year 2021, we will bestepping out of the helium task and displacing it to private entities. Surprisingly enough, the questioncomes up about whether or not we should be using party bags. I happen to be a realfan of party bags. So for my preference, I still am gladthat we have party balloons. With the price of helium where it is, there’s so much conservation going on now that the party balloons are actuallya very small part of the market. We’ve seen now in recent yearswith the newer helium informants coming online and this greateffort towards helium conservation that that’s really had an impact inmaking more helium available for everyone. So I speculate the party balloonskind of got a bad rap. – I did think about ending this video bydelivering my inference in a silly utter by breathing from a helium bag, buthonestly, we is first necessary to keep helium and I figured thatwould set a bad example. So this … … it’s just regular breeze. I’m glad that flew away! That would’velooked terrible if it hadn’t worked.

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