The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the University of Zaragoza and the US company GWR Instruments have announced they have entered into a global collaboration agreement with Quantum Design International for a new helium system.

This technology, developed jointly by Conrado Rillo and his team at the University of Zaragoza, CSIC and GWR Instruments, makes it possible to recover and liquefy nearly 100% of the liquid helium used in cryogenic research and medical equipment. In addition, Advanced Technology Liquefiers (ATL’s) allow scientists and medical laboratory professionals to produce liquid helium from helium gas, thereby removing the previous requirement to start operations with liquid helium, a costly and limited natural resource.

Quantum Design International, one of the leading manufacturers and worldwide distributors of scientific measurement instruments, has the exclusive worldwide license to manufacture and distribute the ATL systems.

This new ATL technology comes at a time when laboratories and medical facilities are struggling to obtain and afford the liquid helium that is vital to their ongoing efforts. This efficient method of recovering and liquefying helium will be of great value to those small and medium sized operations presently struggling with their supply of liquid and gaseous helium. For example, products based on ATL technology have enabled the University of Zaragoza to recycle nearly 100% of the helium used in much of its research equipment the over the past several months.

“The liquefier technology developed by Zaragoza and GWR is well-aligned with Quantum Design’s expertise in cryogenic research and instrumentation,” said Dr Ronald Sager, Ph.D., CEO of Quantum Design International. “We look forward to working with the University of Zaragoza scientific team to employ this technology to address the dwindling global supply of liquid helium.”

Dr Sager added, “We are pleased to collaborate with Prof Rillo and his team at Zaragoza who have a proven track record in the area of helium recovery and liquefaction to conserve and recycle this important resource.”

The University of Zaragoza and Quantum Design International are now working together to improve and expand the ATL technology. The University of Zaragoza has received up-front licensing fees for the technology from Quantum Design International as well as significant funding for further research and development work by Prof Conrado’s team. In addition, the University of Zaragoza, CSIC and GWR will receive royalties on future sales of the technology.