Rare gases

rare-gases

The rare gases family is composed of Helium, Argon, Neon, Krypton, Xenon and Radon. These gases have considerable chemical inertia which is why they are sometimes called noble gases or inert gases. While present in minimal quantities in the atmosphere, these gases cannot be generated indefinitely. However, with the exception of radon, they find various applications in industries such as electronics, aerospace, metallurgy and more. To delve further into this topic, let’s explore these applications in more detail!

Helium

Helium is an inert gas with low solubility in liquids, commonly used as a pressurization gas for cryogenic rockets and missiles, heavy water for nuclear reactors and all liquids at room or low temperatures.

It’s present in small quantities in the atmosphere and used as a constituent in neutral atmospheres such as in heat treatment applications. Many other applications exist for helium.

Argon

Argon, the third rare gas, is both colorless and odorless. Air contains approximately 0.93% of argon.

As you may know, it’s a common carrier gas in gas chromatography. It’s used as a carrier gas in sputtering, plasma etching and ion implantations. Argon also finds widespread use as a shielding gas in arc welding, whether employed in its pure form or as part of a gas mixture. Additionally, it’s a preferred choice for Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Spectroscopy, and is used in the iron and steel industry to prevent from oxidation. These are just some of the many applications of argon.

Neon

Despite being the fourth most abundant gas in the universe, Neon is scarce in the atmosphere. Obtained from air separation plants, its only economically viable to recover neon from larger plants due to its very low natural concentration in air.

Thanks to its distinctive properties, neon enables various applications. It’s used as a filling gas in spark chamber particle detectors, fluorescent lamps, Geiger tubes and more. Neon is also used as a carrier gas in chromatography for special applications.

Krypton

Colorless and odorless, krypton is found in low concentrations in the atmosphere (1 ppm), similar to neon or helium. Like neon, it’s only economically viable to recover krypton from larger air separation plants.

Krypton is used in various research programmes, certain ion lasers and incandescent lamps. Moreover, it’s employed to obtain X-ray pictures and in discharge type electronic tubes as a triggering agent.

Xenon

Xenon, the rarest and most expensive rare gas, has a concentration of 0.08 ppm in the atmosphere. Obtained from air separation plants, xenon is found in ion and excimer lasers which are used for medical, semiconductor and industrial applications.

But its major application is in the lighting industry, including incandescent lamps, car headlights, arc lights and flash bulbs. Also, neon has been used by NASA spacecraft as rocket fuel. Like krypton, it can be used to insulate double-glazed windows for better thermal performance.

As mentioned, rare gases have applications in a variety of industries.

In this context, we are striving to meet applications needs by providing a total analytical solution. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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