Helium Logistics

As featured in gasworld US edition—Founded in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in its almost 60 years of business, Gardner Cryogenics has produced more than 1,900 cryogenic tanks, the first of which is still operational today.

Specialised in developing high-performance, high reliability, long-lasting storage tanks for the transportation of liquid helium and hydrogen molecules globally, Gardner’s team of cryogenic experts work around the clock to provide its customers with high quality products.

The company’s story began in 1961 and gained momentum in 1981 when it was acquired, giving Gardner an increased opportunity to develop crucial products for the cryogenics industry. In 1967 Gardner designed its 8,500-gallon liquid helium ISO container, and in 1973 the company went on to introduce the first 11,000-gallon ISO container, which eventually became the global industry standard for moving liquid helium molecules.

Gardner’s early product innovations are widely respected in the industry, and it’s first ever 11,000-gallon ISO tank is still in operation today and, to date, only five of the 1700-plus ISO containers manufactured by Gardner have been decommissioned.

Ravi Subramanian, Business and Product Development Manager at Gardner Cryogenics, told gasworld, “Used by all major industrial gas companies, Gardner’s 11,000-gallon 40-foot ISO container, is the world’s most economical and widely used containerised liquid helium tank. For nearly 60 years, Gardner has been focused on developing products that meet the needs of the cryogenic industry. Gardner Cryogenics is proud to support our helium customers globally by offering and enabling them to cost-effectively move and store helium with near zero loss.”

Today, Gardner Cryogenics showcases a diverse portfolio of products for liquid helium and liquid hydrogen with storage containers from 1,500 to 45,000 gallons and transportation containers ranging from 1,500 to 17,000 gallons.

“Our most popular products are the 11,000 gallon 175 psig-40 days liquid helium ISO containers and the 17,000-gallon liquid hydrogen semi-trailer,” Subramanian said.

“The 11,000 gallon 175 psig-40 days container is the ultimate ISO container, an innovation built to meet our customers’ demand for high-reliability, long-lasting and high-performance. Gardner has seen demand continue to grow in its helium segment. With new helium sources expected to be onstream in the coming year, the need for new helium ISO containers has enabled growth during the pandemic.”

Subramanian added, “Our Ultimate 11,000-gallon, 175-40 days ISO container, 91 psi 35 days dual shield technology, and 91-45 days product will support the global growth and accommodate logistic challenges to transport the molecules from source to customer site.”

A key feature that makes Gardner’s innovations highly popular throughout the market is the company’s unique technology that provides the lowest heat-leak for the highest yield when transporting, storing and transferring liquid helium and liquid hydrogen.

While Gardner’s products have served the industry for decades, it has adapted the company’s offerings to align with the latest trends.

Discussing the trends Gardner is currently seeing, Subramanian explained, “We are seeing continued demand for our liquid helium ISO containers. Also, with increasing demand from helium in Asia, we are expanding our aftermarket services globally to support our customers where they are located. With ‘Hydrogen for Mobility’ expected to grow in North America, Europe, China, and Korea, Gardner is expanding its product portfolio and adding manufacturing floor space to meet market demand globally.”

Subramanian also explained that with new sources of helium, and the growing hydrogen energy demand, Gardner is planning to expand its product portfolio accordingly.

“We plan to offer a liquid hydrogen stationary tank, meeting European, Chinese, and Korean regulations and liquid hydrogen transportable semi-trailers to store and move the molecules. Gardner added more floor space to increase its manufacturing capacity to meet market demand,” Subramanian said.

“The Gardner engineering team continues to push the limit by developing novel concepts to enable our customers to address challenging logistic issues, regulatory demands and manage their operational needs.”