What is SF6 gas?

SF6 appears as a colourless innocuous and non-flammable gas at atmospheric temperature and is actually one of the most stable gaseous chemicals. At five times heavier than air and with excellent electric insulating and arc-quenching capacity, SF6 gas is mainly used as an insulation medium in electrical transmittance systems and electrical distributing devices. SF6 gas is also widely used in the medical sector for applications such as LINAC Wave Guides.

A Global Warming Potential of 22,800 times that of CO2

SF6 gas is a highly potent greenhouse gas and due to its global warming potential it represents a longer-term problem if not used correctly.

It was in January 2015 that the classification of “F Gas” controlled gases was changed to categorise gases by reference to their Global Warming Potential (GWP). GWP is referenced to the effect of CO2, whereby the CO2 GWP=1. This provides a common unit of measure, allowing us to compare the damaging effects on the atmosphere of different products. Specifically, it is a measure of how much energy the emissions of 1 ton of a gas will absorb over a given period of time, relative to the emissions of 1 ton of carbon dioxide (CO2). The larger the GWP, the more that a given gas warms the earth compared to that of CO2 over a given period of time.

With a GWP of 22,800 times that of CO2 and an atmospheric life of in excess of 1,000 years, SF6 is the most damaging gas that is still in use today. Despite this, it appears unlikely that there will be any immediate restrictions on its use other than to ensure strict adherence to the F Gas Regulations.

SF6 gas and F Gas Regulations experts

With over 30 years of experience providing specialist cooling equipment within the medical sector, SF6 Recovery Ltd. has been set up in response to the need for the safe environmental handling of SF6.

Our experience throughout the introduction of the F gas regulations (Koyoto protocol 1997) has made us uniquely positioned to provide SF6 handling into both the medical and power distribution sectors. Find out more on our SF6 Gas services page.

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