Neon is a colorless and odorless noble gas with an atomic mass of 10 and exists as a monatomic element. Ne is the chemical symbol used as the chemical symbol to represent Neon. In the Neon and vacuum tube, the Neon has a reddish-orange color. Neon is non-reactive, and therefore, it does not react with either metal or non-metal. The non-reactivity property of Neon is contributed due to its stable electronic configuration (2.8). It was discovered in 1898 after inert gas was separated from other gases.
The gas is environmentally friendly because it is odorless and does not react with other elements in the environment.
1. Uses of Neon
Neon element has numerous industrial and commercial uses. However, it does not have any biological role in the human body. Some of the uses of Neon are discussed below;
2. Vacuum lamps
Neon gas is a significant component in the making of some of the vacuum tubes and lamps. Neon helps to provide an inert environment in the lamps that prevents oxidation in the lamp. Therefore Neon helps to ensure the lamp lasts long. The light produced by these lamps depends on the volume of the gas present. Neon’s color also plays an essential role in making beautifying lamps.
3. Making lasers
The laser is a device that produces a bright light of single light. Neon and helium combined are used in making laser gas that is used in the laser device. The laser light is used for diverse purposes. For example, it is used by doctors to do surgeries and by scientists in their experiments. Neon, therefore, is essential in making these lasers.
4. Advertising signs
Advertising, also known as “neon signs,” is made using neon gas. Many advertising lamps found in shops and other places are mostly made of neon gas. The gas is pumped in the advertisement bulb on which it has written advertisement words. Every time the electricity is turned on, the Neon glows brightly, making the words look attractive. Using neon signs may help to attract customers hence increased sales.
5. Making high-voltage indicators
In high-voltage indicators, Neon is used to produce a warning light. These indicators are fixed such that when their voltage exceeds the set voltage, they produce a warning light. When voltage is above the set voltage, it makes the neon gas inside the indicator glow, producing a light. It, therefore, helps to control the losses and risks caused by high voltage.
6. Cryogenic refrigerant
The non-reactivity property of Neon makes it an excellent cryogenic refrigerant. Liquid Neon can be used in laboratories and industries as a refrigerant because it does not have metal or non-metal when combined. Liquid Neon is made by cooling neon gas. Neon’s low boiling point (-246.08˚c) makes it the right refrigerant.
7. Television tubes
Neon was used in the tubes in old televisions to produce light when an electric current is passed through it. Neon was a significant element in making these televisions. The neon gas present in the tube also provided an inert environment.
8. Making plasma screens
Plasma screens are flat panel devices that are used to display images and videos. In the plasma screen, Neon reacts with the phosphors within the screen and therefore producing different colors. Neon is used because of its responses by producing light when exposed to an electric current. Neon gas is also used in the making of plasma televisions.
9. wave meter tubes
In the making of a wavemeter, a device used to measure the distance between two successive wavefronts, neon gas is added in the wavemeter tube. The gas (neon gas) is used to produce light to display a particular wave’s waveform. The device must be connected to a source of heat so as in Neon to glow.
10. Diving equipment
Next, a mixture of oxygen and neon gas can be used by deep-sea divers for respiration purposes. However, the mixture may have adverse side effects on human health, and it has a high production cost, and therefore it is rarely used. A mixture of neon gas and helium is advisable as helium is less soluble in the blood.
11. Lightning arrestors
Neon can be a suitable lightning arrestor. A neon gas lightning arrestor requires a high voltage to conduct electricity, so the average current will not flow across them. In the case of a direct lightning strike, the Neon will arch and conduct the massive lightning to the ground, therefore protecting the devices and the building.
12. Detecting fracking leaks
In the oil industry, Neon is used to detect fracking leaks. Neon can be tracked as it moves and therefore showing the leaked paths. The fact that it does not reacts with other elements makes a good choice. Therefore, it is an essential element in the oil industry.
13. Air balloons
Neon gas can be used as a substitute for helium in making air balloons. Neon gas is a monatomic gas, and therefore it is lighter than the air. A neon-filled balloon will rise because it will be lighter than the air. However, it will rise faster than a helium balloon because they differ in densities as helium is lighter than Neon. Also, Neon being used in an air balloon may pose the person inhaling to asphyxiation risks if enough oxygen is not available.
14. Aerospace industry
In the aerospace or aircraft industry, Neon is used as a coolant for ultra-sensitive infrared imaging because of its refrigerant property. It is also used for the detention of types of equipment in the aircraft. Aircraft light lamps are also made of neon gas. It is, therefore, an important element in this industry.
15. Locomotive industry
During the manufacture of cars and other locomotive lamps, neon gas is used. The neon lamps are brighter, and they are long-lasting as compared to other lamps. Also, the light from the neon lamp can easily penetrate fog, and therefore vehicles with this kind of lamp can avoid accidents on a foggy day.
Other uses include making masers, preserving corpses, in meter tubes, and the electronic industry.