Helium will eventually become extinct Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society series Reactions describes how helium has become an endangered element.
There is a limited supply of helium and it is constantly escaping into space.
Helium has industrial uses that cannot be replicated, and it is too expensive to recreate in the lab.
Each year for the last decade, the demand for helium has increased by 10 percent. In those ten years, the price has risen by more than 250 percent. Helium will eventually become extinct as shown above.
This unique element will eventually become extinct. In the meantime, recycling helium has become an important priority. In America, helium is running out of gas. The element that lifts things like balloons, spirits and voice ranges is being depleted so rapidly in the world’s largest reserve, outside of Amarillo, Texas, that supplies are expected to be depleted there within the next eight years. Helium is drifting away.
Helium is rare on Earth while hydrogen is abundant. The reason is that helium is a rebel, a loner, and it does not combine with other atoms while hydrogen does. Hydrogen is one of the two elements that make water. Under standard conditions, there are no combined or molecular forms of helium. Although it is rare on Earth, you likely have encountered it in helium-filled balloons. It’s the most widely-used of the inert gases, used in arc welding, diving, growing silicon crystals, and as a coolant in MRI scanners. In addition to being rare, helium is a (mostly) non-renewable resource.
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer
Video Credit: American Chemical Society