Mineral Resources: Federal Helium Purity Should Be Maintained.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC RESOURCES COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVE LOPMENT DIV
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Helium is stored, to ensure its availability for current and future federal use, in Cliffside, a natural gas field near Amarillo, The purity of the stored helium diminishes degrades over time as it mixes with the natural gas. Moreover, when extracted at an excessive rate, the degradation is accelerated because the natural gas surrounding the helium is pulled toward the wells faster than the helium. This causes the helium to mix with the natural gas more rapidly and to form in small pockets that are not adjacent to the wells. As a result, larger volumes of the mixture of natural gas and helium must be extracted to obtain the needed helium.
- Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Processing