The main use of noble gases is due to their chemical inertness and low boiling points. Important uses of noble gases are as follows:
Uses of Helium (He)
- It is used in inflating the tyres of big aero-planes as it is lighter than air.
- It is used for filling observation balloons due to its non-inflammability.
- A mixture of He and O2 is used for respiration in deep sea diving in preference to air. Since, helium does not dissolve in blood, it does not cause a painful sensation called blends, when sea-diver comes out of dive. Nitrogen gas being relatively more soluble in blood, cannot be used for this purpose.
- It is used in producing inert atmosphere in welding metals or alloys.
- It is used in research work for producing extremely low temperature.
- It is used for filling in electric transformers, vacuum tubes and radio tubes.
- He-Ne mixture is used in certain protective devices for electrical apparatus.
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Uses of Neon (Ne)
- Neon light is used as beacon light for air pilots and ship captains. Because, neon produces orange red glow on passing electric current through it at low pressure and this glow is visible even in mist.
- It is filled into electric discharge tubes used in decorations and for advertisements.
- It is also used to make high-voltage indicators and switching gear, lightning arresters, diving equipment and lasers.
- Liquid form of neon is an important cryogenic refrigerant.
Uses of Argon (Ar)
- It is widely used in filling electric bulbs in order to increase the life of filament.
- A mixture of argon and mercury is used in fluorescent tubes.
- It is used in filling Geiger-counter tubes.
- It is used in radio valves and rectifiers.
- Argon-neon mixture is used in advertising signs.
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Uses of Krypton (Kr)
- It is used in filling luminous sign tubes.
- It is used in filament lamps.
- It is used in decorative discharge tubes.
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Uses of Xenon (Xe)
- It is used for filling radio and television tubes.
- It is used in bubble chambers for the detection of gamma rays and neutral mesons.
- Its ion propulsion systems are used by several satellites to keep them in orbit, and in some other spacecraft.
- Xenon di-fluoride is used to etch silicon microprocessors. It is also used in the manufacture of 5-fluorouracil, a drug used to treat certain types of cancer.
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Uses of Radon (Rn)
- It is used in the preparation of ointments for the treatment of cancer diseases and wounds.
- It is used in the scientific research in radioactivity.
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- It is used in exploration of new reserve of petroleum and uranium.
- It is also used in hydrologic research due to its rapid loss of air.
- It is needed and delivered in sealed gold needles.
- It has been used for presumed medical effects in spas.
- In groundwater, the changing concentration of radon is helpful for examination of earthquake prediction.
Uses of Noble Gases