What are the uses of noble gases?
Aug 26, 2022, 16:45 IST
1) Uses of helium:
- In filling of observation balloons: Because of its lightness and non-inflammability, helium is used to fill air ships and observation balloons or metero logical balloons.
- In artificial respiration by deep sea divers: Unlike nitrogen, helium is not soluble in blood, under pressure. Hence, a mixture of 80% helium and 20% oxygen is used, instead of ordinary air in modern diving apparatus. This prevents ‘bends’ which is the pain caused by formation of nitrogen bubbles in blood veins when a diver comes to the surface.
- In treatment of asthma: A mixture of helium and oxygen is used to help patients suffering from respiratory diseases like asthma, in breathing.
- Liquid helium is used as a cryogenic liquid to provide low temperatures for studying various phenomenona occurring near absolute zero.
- In nuclear reactors, helium is used as heat transfer agent.
- Helium is used in electric transformers.
- Helium gas is used in gas thermo meters.
- Helium is used to provide inert atmosphere in a number of metallurgical operations in the preparation of reactive metals such as magnesium.
- Helium is also used in melting and welding of Mg, Al and stainless steel. Since, these metals are attacked by oxygen and nitrogen at high temperature (red hot), then welding is carried out in an atmosphere of helium.
Note: It helium is cooled to 2.2K at 1 – atmospheric pressure, it forms a new form of liquid called helium – II. The viscosity of this liquid is low. Unlike normal liquids, it flows upwards instead of flowing downwards.
Phyiscs Wallah Chemistry Doubts page consist of more questions for reference.
2) Uses of Neon:
i) Mixed with helium it is used to protect electrical instruments from high voltages.
ii) Neon has a special property of giving an orange red colour in a discharge tube at 2mm of pressure. Hence, it is widely used in filling of glow lamps known as neon tubes for advertising purposes. It produces different colours when mixed with mercury vapour or with argon.
Table: Colours produced by noble gases
Gases filled in tube
Colour of tube
1. Neon + argon + mercury
2. Neon + argon + mercury
3. Neon + argon + mercury
4. Neon + helium
5. Neon + helium
iii) Neon light is also used as signal lights and as becon lights for safe air navigation as the light possess fog, mist and storm – penetrating power.
iv) Neon lamps are also used in botanical gardens and the green houses as it stimulates growth and is effective in the formation of chlorophyll.
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