Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) announced on July 9 that it has developed a sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) refining device which recycles SF6 emissions from discarded shutters and transformers.
SF6 is a greenhouse gas whose global warming effects are 23,900 times those of carbon dioxide. SF6 is used as an insulation material for high voltage power equipment due to its electrical insulation property. It is also used in semiconductor production to remove unnecessary parts of wafers. If SF6 leaks into the atmosphere at the time of the disposal of electric power facilities, it contributes to global warming.
The KEPCO Research Institute has been developing SF6 refining and decomposition technology since 2016. In June, the research center completed the development of SF6 refining equipment.
SF6 becomes a solid matter at a temperature of minus 100 degrees Celsius. An SF6 refining device keeps SF6 and emits other gases at this temperature.
"Power facilities that fall into disuse each year amount to 10 tons per year. If SF6 collected from these facilities are recycled, it will save power plants budgets to buy SF6 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," a KEPCO official said.