The recovery of sulphur hexafluoride in focus for Taiyo Nippon Sanso Higashikanto


According to The Gas Review, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Higashikanto performs the recovery of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), used as an insulating gas in electrical transformers and other devices throughout Japan. They handle between 400 and 500 orders a year. 

SF6 is one of the gases set for reduction in usage in the Kyoto Protocol. Recovery work was started in 2002, and requests for this work from heavy electric machinery manufacturers have increased annually.

SF6 has exceptional electric insulation properties, it can be easily injected into and discharged from insulation equipment, and it is very safe. In comparison with other insulation methods, such as air or oil insulation, it enables downsizing of power receiving and transforming facilities. It is therefore a gas that industry wants to continue using, but it has a global warming potential (GWP) 23,900 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2). Therefore, reducing its release into the atmosphere is required to protect the global environment. So to find out how SF6 can be recovered and reused, The Gas Review talked to Taiyo Nippon Sanso Higashikanto. They have around 15 years of experience in SF6 recovery work.

The handling standards for SF6 Gas in Electric Power Applications issued by the Electric Technology Research Association, an association of power companies and insulation equipment manufacturers that investigates, researches and provides information on electric technologies, stipulated SF6 recovery rates of 97% minimum for testing and inspection and 99% minimum for equipment removal and disposal. The Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures requires “enterprises that consume 125kg equivalent of SF6 gas to take measures to suppress SF6 discharge” along with “the obligation to report discharge,” and fines imposed for failure to file reports. Therefore, if devices charged with SF6 are used, the charged amounts must be calculate, and proof of recovery of equivalent amounts must be maintained.

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