In NMR spectroscopy, super conducting magnets are used to create very high magnetic fields and thus high resonance frequencies in the range 300 - 900 MHz. Liquid helium is necessary to cool the supra conducting magnets. NMR spectrometers feature very special boil-off dispersion characteristics.
During normal operation, the gas emission coming from helium boil-off is only minimal. When the dewar is refilled, however, helium boil-off skyrockets and needs to be handled. An industrial helium liquefier has liquefaction rates of at least 50 l per hour. However, such a high liquefaction rate is not suitable for the boil-off of NMR systems. This is why an industrial helium liquefier is always only used for short periods so that the investment can hardly be amortized
With the ATL160, we offer a helium liquefier perfectly suited for laboratory applications. In combination with the high-pressure recovery plant, it serves as the most resource-saving solution for NMR labs. Furthermore, the initial cost is much lower compared to that of an industrial liquefier.
Depending on the input pressure, an ATL160 can liquefy up to 22 liters per day, which is equivalent to the average helium usage of a typical NMR laboratory with multiple systems.
A first project at the University of Georgia has been successfully installed in the beginning of this year. The NMR lab in Georgia has five NMR systems, one of which with 900 MHz, and a daily helium usage of approximately 20 liters. The recovery lines and the helium gas storage equipment (high pressure compressor, gas bag and gas bottles) have already been installed and are fully operational.
The system has been developed in cooperation with GWR Instruments, Inc., the University of Zaragoza and the Spanish National Research Council CSIC.