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Electric and Switchgear Industries

For electrical breakers and gas insulated switchgear we supply sulfur hexafluoride that enables this equipment, and we look toward the future offering environmentally friendly NovecTM mixtures.

The largest domestic supplier of SF6

Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) is an inert, dense, nontoxic, insulating gas of high dielectric strength and thermal stability.

We pride ourselves on supplying Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) that meets IEC 376 and ASTM D2472-00.  It is suitable for and used for insulating in circuit breakers, in switch gear, gas insulated substations, and gas insulated transmission lines.  SF6 has a long history of being used as a gaseous dielectric in high voltage equipment and has outstanding arc quenching properties that allows for simplified design of switchgear with size and weight reduction.

Compared to conventional dielectrics, with sulfur hexafluoride, due to its ideal electrical, thermal and chemical properties, equipment with higher capacity and improved performance is possible.  Changing to sulfur hexafluoride from the conventional dielectrics results in significant savings of space and weight, and operational improvements.

The very stability that makes sulfur hexafluoride so useful in electrical applications, contributes to its potency as a greenhouse gas.  SF6 has a GWP of 22,800.  This is 22,800 times as potent as carbon dioxide on a per pound basis.  Because of this, SF6 users carefully track their releases and SF6 is captured and recycled.  We provide solutions for tracking SF6 use and we repurify SF6 for reuse, helping to minimize releases.  The purified SF6 meets the same specifications as the virgin material is suitable for the same applications.

And, Electrical switchgear manufacturers have now developed equipment that doesn’t use SF6, but uses substances that have less of a greenhouse effect.  The equipment uses insulating gas mixtures based on fluoronitriles and fluoroketones: 3MTM NovecTM 4710 and NovecTM 5110.  These mixes have the performance and safety properties required in electrical power applications, along with a much lower GWP.  We have advanced blending equipment, as well as a sophisticated laboratory to support precision production that can provide you with mixes based on 3MTM NovecTM 4710 and NovecTM 5110.

Committed to the environment

The primary use of SF6 is as a gaseous dielectric medium in the electric industry for switchgear, high-voltage circuit breakers, and other electrical equipment. SF6 often replaces oil filled circuit breakers (OCB’s) that can contain PCB’s.

While SF6 provides many advantages and is the material of choice for many applications, there are environmental concerns that must be managed. SF6 does not cause harm to the ozone layer, but is considered to be a climate change pollutant by the EPA. For this reason, we offer SF6 recycling services that include the recovery and recycling of SF6 from old breakers, cylinders, and other systems.

In short, the technical and economic performance realized by electrical equipment manufacturers and electrical utilities using SF6 is unmatched. Despite all the advantages gained with using SF6 as well as recognizing the fact that there are no technical equivalent substitutes, it does present environmental challenges that must be addressed. SF6 has been identified as a highly potent greenhouse gas that causes climate change. The global warming potential (GWP) of SF6 is 22,800 times higher than that of CO2. SF6 also has an atmospheric life of 3200 years.

A large percentage of the SF6 being used today is in closed system applications. As long as the SF6 remains within the closed system no emissions to the atmosphere will occur. However, in reality some SF6 will be emitted during the systems life cycle, so the emphasis is to minimize the amount of SF6 released.

To further drive the reduction of total SF6 emissions, in 2011 the EPA began requiring mandatory emissions reporting for users of electrical transmission and distribution (T&D) equipment with total nameplate capacity over 17,820 lbs.

As a major supplier and responsible member of the global community, we are committed to collaborating with users to do our part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We continue to take every opportunity to implement new processes and systems designed to facilitate the recovery and recycling of used SF6. Whether SF6 is recovered from old breakers, cylinders, or other systems, we will recycle this material and return it to a fit-for-use purity that exceeds ASTM D2472-00 and IEC 60480 standards.

We are proud to offer our customers other services to reduce SF6 emissions using cost effective technologies and practices that can provide additional financial benefits.

Learn More

Electronic Fluorocarbons Adds to Successful Plant Facility in Hatfield, PA

Electronic Fluorocarbons is expanding both its facilities and its workforce in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, with the addition of a 32,000-square-foot extension to the existing production plant. The new space will be utilized for new purification/distillation and fill lines to facilitate the growth of existing products.

Recovery and Recycling

Gas recovery and recycling can improve economics and protect our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.