Tanzania has a tremendous supply of helium.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Everyone, especially children, knows that helium is the gas which fills party balloons. These balloons are carried by the wind because this gas is lighter than air.
Plus, as a funny reminder, this gas makes your voice thinner. Still, helium might be used for more serious purposes, such as nuclear power and MRI scans. As experts underlined that the current nuclear power is a highly dangerous weapon, this gas must be further used for a medical purpose.
Until recently, most scientists thought that there are no longer many resources of helium throughout the world. Even Tokyo Disneyland had to stop selling balloons as these sales were considered as being excessive.
But based on the latest discovery, a tremendous source of helium supply was found in the East African Rift Valley of Tanzania.
Thanks to the efforts of a team of researchers from the Norwegian helium exploration company Helium One, together with scientists from Durham and Oxford universities, this massive resource of gas was discovered in an unusual place.
This is probably the reason why it took them so long to find it because they would have never thought until now that helium supplies might be hidden in that area. According to the researchers, this resource comes from the volcanoes, which have released vast amounts of helium gas over time, trapping it in these fields.
The problem is that the supplies found near volcanoes are usually diluted by other gasses, including carbon dioxide, making it almost impossible to collect and store for further use.
According to Diveena Danabalan, a scientist from Durham University’s Department of Earth Sciences, the team is trying to find the ideal place where the balance between volcanic dilution and helium release is stable.
In other words, researchers want to find the exact spot from where they can begin extracting the this gas. Based on the statistics, just a small portion of this Tanzania gas supply might be 54 billion cubic feet large (BCf), meaning that it could provide enough helium for 1.2 million medical MRI scanners.
The world currently consumes 8 billion cubic feet of helium gas every year. The United States Federal Helium Reserve has just a 24.2 BCf reserve despite the fact that it is the largest supplier on the planet. These facts prove how significant these Tanzania resources might be for the world.
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