Helium production.

JSC “Moscow Gas Refinery Plant” produces helium 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0 in compliance with technical specification 0271-135-31323949-2005. Balloons are prepared and filled with helium by qualified personnel on specialized equipment. We offer helium A, B, 5.0, 6.0 and 6.5 in balloons of different volume and we also may rent tanks for helium and fill the customer’s balloons with our production. Before filling with gas each balloon is thoroughly supervised and in case of need it is repaired. Our specialists provide diagnostics of isolation valves so as to exclude the possibility of leakage. The plant’s laboratory controls the quality of the whole volume of helium which is shipped to our customers. Each balloon filled with helium has its own quality certificate and the following information on it: serial number, date of filling, volume ratio of helium and alloys, pressure and a shelf life.

Nowadays helium is widely used in different areas such as:

  • Medicine (computer tomography, gas lasers and breathing mixtures)
  • Nuclear industry (production of nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel elements)
  • Industry (helium leak seekers and production of semiconducting materials)
  • Science (for generation extra low temperatures)
  • Metal processing (welding)
  • Aviation industry (gyroscope and horizons and for filling aerostatic balloons)
  • Energy (isolator for high voltage switchers)
  • Helium of different types is always in stock in balloons of different volume from 2 to 40 liters. We may deliver it by means of our transport facilities or we offer ex works conditions.

    Helium is a noble monoatomic gas without color smell and taste and it doesn’t react with any other elements. Helium is produced from helium-rich natural gas. It is separated from other gases by deep cooling method. Helium-rich gas mixture aftercooling method contains a few stages and the gas mixture is purified from carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons. This process brings about mixture of helium, neon and hydrogen with helium content of 70-90%. Then the cleaning from hydrogen (4-5%) takes place. It is implemented with the aid of copper oxide at the temperature of 650-800 K. The final purification is effected by means of cooling helium with boiling nitrogen and adsorption of alloys by absorbent coal which is also cooled by liquid nitrogen. As a result we obtain technical helium and high-purity helium with volume ratio 99.80% and 99.985% respectively.

    In Russia helium is produced from natural and oil gas. Nowadays it is extracted at LLC “GazpromdobychaOrenburg” in Orenburg and helium volume ratio is not more than 0.055%. That is why Russian helium is quite expensive. The urgent issue is to develop East Siberian fields which contain helium-rich gases (0.15%-1%).

    The USA is the number one in helium production (140 mln m3 per year) then comes Algeria which extracts 16 mln m3 per year and the third position belongs to Russia which produces 6 mln m3 a year. World helium reserves are estimated at the level of 45,6 bln m3 and the largest fields are situated in the USA (45%), Russia (32%), Algeria (7%), Canada (7%) and China (4%).

    Helium transportation

    For helium transportation brown steel balloons are used produced in accordance with GOST 949-73. Liquefied helium may be transported in tanks or cryogenic vehicles.

    Helium characteristics

    Helium is colorless noble gas without taste and smell. Its boiling point is 4.215 0K which is equal to -268.9 0C. Helium is not explosive, nonflammable and not toxic but under the conditions of its high concentration it may cause asphyxia. Liquefied helium may lead to thermal burns. It doesn’t get solid at any temperature if it is not affected by pressure above 25 atmospheres. There is no any similar material in the world. Among gases helium is the best current conductor and one of the best heat conductors. It has a great heat capacity but viscosity on the contrary is too low.

    Helium employment

  • In metal industry for creation of protective noble atmosphere for production extra-purity metals.
  • In food industry it is used as a food additive E939 and a packing gas.
  • It is employed as a coolant for generating low temperatures.
  • In aviation industry for filling aerostatic balloons and weather balloons.
  • In medicine for breathing mixtures and diving.
  • In gas discharge tubes for advertising purposes.
  • In gas chromatography as a carrier gas.
  • In industry for helium leak seekers and production of semiconducting materials.
  • In medicine and technical gas lasers as a component of working gas.
  • Additional information