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Business

Air Products Starts Up New Helium Plant

by Marc S. Reisch
August 31, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 34

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Credit: Air Products
Air Products’ new helium plant in Colorado.
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Credit: Air Products
Air Products’ new helium plant in Colorado.

Air Products & Chemicals has started up what it calls the world’s only plant to extract helium from a carbon dioxide stream. Most helium is produced as a by-product of natural gas processing. The firm expects to produce up to 230 million cu ft of helium annually, replacing 15% of the Bureau of Land Management’s helium distribution as that system declines. Air Products will remove the helium from underground CO2 extracted by Kinder Morgan in Doe Canyon, Colo. The purified CO2 will then be piped to Texas where it will be used for enhanced oil recovery. Last year, Air Products opened a 200 million-cu-ft helium plant with partner Matheson Tri-Gas in Big Piney, Wyo.

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