According to Sinopec’s official news, the first helium purification plant developed independently by Sinopec was successfully started up at Chongqing Petroleum LNG plant in one go.
The plant can produce more than 20 tons of 99.999% high purity helium per year.
Helium is characterized by low density, low boiling point, good thermal conductivity and stable chemical properties.
It is widely used in aerospace, electronics industry, biomedical and other high-tech fields.
However, China is poor in helium resources and relatively backward in helium extraction technology.
Over 95% of helium resources are imported.
At present, the only helium resources with practical application value come from natural gas containing helium.
However, helium extraction is very difficult due to the complex composition of natural gas tail gas, in which the kinetic diameters of methane, nitrogen and helium molecules are very close to each other.
By adopting the key technologies of efficient deep dehydrogenation and membrane helium separation independently developed by Sinopec Beijing Research Institute of Chemical Technology, they purified the plant tail gas containing large amounts of helium and hydrogen, and in this way produced a 99.999% high purity helium product.
This achieved an innovation and breakthrough from process development to industrial application technology.
In the next step, Sinopec will develop iterative processes to address the low abundance of helium resources in China and
China will continue to reduce energy consumption and improve the stability of the complete process. (Sinopec)