A New Discovery Of Natural Helium In Tanzania Could End Shortage Of Helium As Gas, This New Discovery Could End Helium Shortage as Researchers from the U.K. have located a massive underground helium reserve in Tanzania By using a novel exploration method, researchers have located a large helium source in the East African Rif Valley in Tanzania, a highly volcanically active area. Volcanoes are important in the formation of helium reserves, as they provide the heat necessary to release the gas from ancient rocks.
Helium shortage could be solved by new life-saving discovery Reserves have been so low that doctors have called for a ban on using the gas in party balloons
Scientists might finally have overcome a global shortage of helium – potentially saving millions of lives in the process.
Helium might be best known as the gas that keeps party balloons in the air and makes people’s voices squeaky. But the gas’s extremely low boiling point allows it to serve a range of other important purposes – being key to MRI scanners for medicine and nuclear power.
A shortage in the live-saving gas had therefore panicked scientists who worried that we might run out. The only way to find the gas has been by accident – turning it up while drilling for oil and gas – and if it is let out into the atmosphere it floats up and into space.
However, if a reserve is located too close to a given volcano, the helium can become diluted by volcanic gases such as carbon dioxide. With the discovery of the “Goldilocks zone” between the ancient crust and the volcanoes in Tanzania, geologists will be better able to narrow down the possible locations for other helium sources around the world.
This finding is especially important because helium, although considered rare, has a number of significant medical and industrial applications, and global supplies have been dwindling. Besides its use in party balloons, the noble gas is a key component in MRI machines, weather balloons, welding machinery, and even the Large Hadron Collider. Historically, helium has been found only in conjunction with gas and oil drilling, though this new exploration method promises to reveal more sources of the lifesaving gas.
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