The atmosphere contains only very small quantities of noble gases such as xenon (Xe), krypton (Kr) and neon (Ne). The recovery of these noble gases by fractional distillation of liquefied air is therefore only worthwhile in very large air separation units (ASU). The proportion of neon in the air is only 0.00161 vol%.
Neon is needed in both the lighting industry as well as in the semiconductor industry. For the latter application, high-purity neon is needed as a buffer gas for lasers in semiconductor lithography with a resolution of 7 nm.