Air Products opens helium production plant in Colorado, US

Air Products opens helium production plant in Colorado, US

6:20 AM, 20th August 2015
Air Products opens helium production plant in Colorado, US
Air Products’ Doe Canyon helium plant, the world’s first facility to produce helium from carbon dioxide stream, said the company.

ALLENTOWN, US: Air Products and Chemicals Inc has commissioned its new Doe Canyon helium production facility in Colorado, US. The Doe Canyon helium plant is the only one in the world extracting helium from a gas stream composed primarily of carbon dioxide (CO2), it said.

The plant is expected to produce up to 230 million standard cubic feet per year, replacing more than 15 percent of the current United States bureau of land management (BLM) reserve helium supply as that system declines.

Most of the helium produced worldwide is a by-product of natural gas (methane) processing. Not all natural gas fields contain helium; in fact very few gas fields have high enough helium concentrations to make it economical for extraction. Combine that with the fact that the existing United States BLM helium reserve is a finite supply and it becomes quite clear that it is essential to always be looking for novel ways to produce more helium.

The helium at Doe Canyon will be extracted from a naturally occurring underground CO2 gas source. The Air Products facility will use a new technology process to produce pure helium from the CO2 stream that contains recoverable amounts of helium. The purified helium will be liquefied on-site for subsequent delivery to Air Products’ customers, it said.

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