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Could Helium Recovery Alleviate Future Shortages?

In an interview with Udo Dengel, Director Membranes at Evonik, a specialty chemicals company, techniques of helium recovery and recycling were discussed. Udo mentioned that recovery and recycling play a minor role in the overall helium supply, primarily due to the complexities and costs involved. Most helium is used once and then escapes because recovery technologies are not straightforward. Established methods like cryogenic, pressure swing adsorption, and membrane technologies are effective for initial helium production from natural sources but adapting these for recycling in various applications is challenging. As a result, while some users consider recycling to cut costs, it remains a difficult and infrequently pursued endeavour. Advancements in helium recycling could help companies limit their cost substantially.

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