Helium access continues to be a challenge for research labs

Access to helium is continuing to pose a challenge for research labs in Canada and around the world. According to C&EN, the helium shortage was unexpected and has been exacerbated by international events such as fires at a helium plant in Russia, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, challenges with processing helium from Algeria, and a leak at a reservoir in the United States. CBC reports that the University of Windsor needs helium for its nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, and has been told by suppliers to expect 75% of the amount of helium it received last year. Lab coordinator Matthew Revington said that this amount may not be enough to keep the lab equipment running, and that the anticipated increased cost of the helium may interfere with research. “We’ve lost a lot of time through the pandemic, and now this is going to slow down research overall and slow down our ability to buy new equipment and upgrade the equipment that we have,” said Revington. Note: Archived stories may contain dead links or be missing source links.

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