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  1. #1
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    Default Question about Helium

    I'm watching the news and saw some footage from the parade preparations in NYC tomorrow, wind permitting and I got to thinking about all the helium in them.I have read that helium is a finite resource and once it's gone it's gone. So my question is to they recycle it after the parade is over as in pump it back into high pressure tanks?

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    Goes right into the atmosphere...about 350k cubic feet.

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    No worries. We have a few billion years worth in the Sun.

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    Linde supplies the He and they claim that for the past two years they've captured "some" of it when they deflate the balloons. It would be very easy for them to capture "a lot" of it but they've left amount vague in their press release.

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    Yes - finite resource that is often wasted for stupid stuff like balloons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yan Wo View Post
    No worries. We have a few billion years worth in the Sun.
    Are you volunteering to go get it? LOL

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    Kind of seems to me like someone could use an oilless air compressor so as not to contaminate the helium and just pump it into regular air storage tanks. It would still have plenty of pressure for things like blowing up balloons and talking like Donald Duck. This doesn't seem like something that would require the services of a professional gas company to do.

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    They could fill the balloons with hydrogen instead ....

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    How is it lost/destroyed? Doesn't it just go back in to the atmosphere to be collected again?

    JMHO

    -Ron

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    Wasn't there a shortage this summer. I recall a Dollar Tree couldn't get any to fill their ballons. Could be just their distributor problem though.

    Dave

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    Helium is a byproduct of natural gas mining. And we aren't fractionally distilling ALL of the helium in the consumed natural gas. Helium as collected from atmospheric air is so rare that it is not at all cost effective to collect.

    There was an overage that was stored by the federal government as a strategic stockpile, back when the government was invested in growing infrastructure (largely during the cold war). Then free market was given reign over it and we've slowly been "running out" since. Expected to be out of the stockpile in 2021. Which then means that they'll charge 5x as much for the same helium once the stockpile is used up and they have to go back to only selling what they produce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalCarnage View Post
    How is it lost/destroyed? Doesn't it just go back in to the atmosphere to be collected again?

    JMHO

    -Ron
    No, it escapes into space.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Helium is a byproduct of natural gas mining. And we aren't fractionally distilling ALL of the helium in the consumed natural gas. Helium as collected from atmospheric air is so rare that it is not at all cost effective to collect.

    There was an overage that was stored by the federal government as a strategic stockpile, back when the government was invested in growing infrastructure (largely during the cold war). Then free market was given reign over it and we've slowly been "running out" since. Expected to be out of the stockpile in 2021. Which then means that they'll charge 5x as much for the same helium once the stockpile is used up and they have to go back to only selling what they produce.
    Evidently there's a new program scheduled to start around 2021...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    No, it escapes into space.

    Tom
    Huh! I did not know that. But there is an interesting discussion of that fact here:
    Atmospheric escape - Wikipedia

    Evidently we are losing about 50 grams per second of Helium due to atmospheric escape.

    Denis

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgfoster View Post
    .....................................

    Evidently we are losing about 50 grams per second of Helium due to atmospheric escape.

    Denis
    Houston, we have a leak!!!!! What do we do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    They could fill the balloons with hydrogen instead ....
    What an explosive idea. Maybe there is a reason they don't already do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big B View Post
    What an explosive idea. Maybe there is a reason they don't already do that.
    Well it was good enough for the Hindenburg

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    Can't see what's wrong using hydrogen for weather balloons etc-even kiddies balloons(providing they don't smoke)! And it's even lighter than helium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    Well it was good enough for the Hindenburg

    There'll be a hot, hot time in Lakehurst, New Jersey,
    When the Hindenburg lands today.
    Well, the band will start to play,
    And the people will shout "hooray"!
    When the Hindenberg lands today... yay! yay!
    All the way from Germany to be here with us,
    We know your motto is "to Jersey or Bust"!
    There'll be a hot, hot time in Lakehurst, New Jersey,
    When the Hindenburg lands today!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    No, it escapes into space.

    Tom
    Oh boy another crisis on our hands !!!!!


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