All things you need to know to neon production processes

All things you need to know to neon production processes缩略图

Based on the information available, here is a general overview of the historical and current processes involved in neon production:

Historically, neon was first discovered in the late 19th century and isolated through the fractional distillation of liquefied air. This process involved separating neon from other inert gases like argon, krypton, and xenon. The neon gas was obtained by cooling and condensing the mixture, allowing for the isolation of neon through a series of distillation steps.

In the current production processes, the focus is on efficiency and sustainability. One method involves low-temperature rectification, where gases are separated by cooling and condensing them at low temperatures. This process isolates the most volatile components, including neon, from the mixture. The remaining gases, such as nitrogen and helium, are removed through additional steps, resulting in a final mixture containing neon and helium.

Another method involves the evacuation of air from glass tubing, followed by filling the tube with pure noble gas. This process, known as bombarding, helps remove air and prevent dilution of the noble gas, ensuring better neon lighting.

It’s important to note that the specific details of neon production processes may vary depending on the manufacturer and the intended application.

Current Neon Production Processes


The production of neon gas has evolved over time, with current methods focusing on efficiency and sustainability. Here’s an overview of the current neon production processes:

  1. Low-Temperature Rectification: Modern neon production often involves the separation of gases by low-temperature rectification. In this process, the most volatile components, including neon, are isolated first. The mixture is then sent to a dephlegmator, a type of distillation tube, where most of the nitrogen is condensed . A subsequent apparatus, the dephlegmator-adsorber, nearly completes the nitrogen separation, resulting in a final mixture that contains 30-75% neon and 10-25% helium.
  2. Fractional Distillation of Liquefied Air: Historically, neon was isolated through the fractional distillation of liquefied mixtures of neon, argon, krypton, and xenon. This method is still relevant, but it has been refined over time to improve efficiency and yield.
  3. Use of Cooled Charcoal: A simpler method for separating neon from a mixture of inert gases obtained from air involves the use of cooled charcoal, a technique developed by Dewar.
  4. Modification of Claude’s Apparatus: The most convenient method for obtaining neon from the air is by modifying Claude’s apparatus for the fractional condensation and distillation of liquid air. This method has been optimized to address the challenge that neon is the most difficult inert gas to isolate.

Advancements and Changes in Neon Production


The neon production process has seen several changes and advancements compared to earlier methods:

  • Technological Efficiency: Chip makers have developed technologies to use less gas, capture and recycle what is used, and switch to alternatives in other industries.
  • EUV Processes: The most advanced chip processes using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) do not need neon gas, which is a significant shift from previous technologies.
  • Global Production: Neon can be produced anywhere by distillation of liquid air, but due to its low concentration in the atmosphere, it remains expensive .
  • Retrofitting for Rare-Gas Extraction: Retrofitting existing air-separation plants with taps for rare-gas extraction is costly and interrupts production, whereas new plants are built with these taps installed.
  • Supply Chain Management: Companies like TSMC are actively managing supply chain risks and developing continuity plans to ensure a steady supply of necessary materials, including gases.

Historical Context

The historical production of neon involved an “electrical gas-discharge” tube to capture the element after its discovery in 1898. Georges Claude found a cheaper way to isolate neon in 1907, which led to the mass production of neon lights. The process for creating neon displays has remained largely unchanged, with the main innovation being the use of different gases and fluorescent coatings to produce various colors.


Impact of Recent Events

The Russia-Ukraine war has significantly impacted the neon gas supply chain, as Ukraine was a major supplier of neon gas globally. This has led to a shortage and increased prices, prompting manufacturers to increase production capacities and seek alternative sources. The shortage has also driven consumers to adopt cheaper alternatives like argon gas

In summary, while the basic principles of neon production have remained consistent, technological advancements have led to more efficient and sustainable processes. The industry has also adapted to geopolitical challenges by diversifying supply chains and exploring alternative materials.