Global and Domestic
2015 – Demand by Application
Healthcare, High-tech Manufacturing & Scientific Research
- Healthcare Industry
- Consumption of helium was largest in healthcare industry in 2015.
- Of the 2014 world helium production of about 180 million cubic meters of helium per year, the largest use (about 32% of the total) is in cryogenic applications, most of which involves cooling the superconducting magnets in medical MRI scanners and NMR spectrometers.
- Helium is used in medical instrumentations, nuclear medicine, and breathing observation. It is essential in treating asthma, emphysema and other conditions that affect the lungs.
- Manufacturing & Science Research
- Helium is used in fiber optics and utilized to cool semiconductors that manufacture many digital devices.
- Liquid helium assists in cooling the superconducting equipment in particle accelerators.
- Super magnets and brain cell research. Labs all over the U.S. use liquid helium to cool instruments that will only work at super-low temperatures.
- Industrial Uses
- Arc welding uses helium to create an inert gas shield. Similarly, divers and others working under pressure can use a mix of helium and oxygen to create a safe artificial breathing atmosphere.
- Various industries use helium to detect gas leaks before their products come to market
- Government – US Defense & Space Programs
- Cutting edge space science and research requires helium. NASA uses helium to keep hot gases and ultra-cold liquid fuel separated during lift off of rockets.
- National defense applications include rocket engine testing, scientific balloons, surveillance craft, air-to-air missile guidance systems, and more.