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Tel. 508-435-7700
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Tel. 215-443-9600
Fax. 215-443-2665

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Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6): Its importance to the electrical industry

Using SF6

The majority of all SF6, 80 percent or more, is used as a dielectric insulator in GIS (Gas Insulated Systems) in high voltage (anything above 72.5 kV) electric distribution systems. SF6 offers dielectric strength (it rapidly quenches electrical discharges), chemical stability during electrical operations, excellent thermal conductivity, and easy synthesis. SF6 was discovered in 1901; before the mid-1900s, most manufacturers made oil switchgear. Now almost all switchgear is either SF6 gas or solid dielectric.

Recycling SF6

One pound of SF6 has the same global warming potential as 22,800 pounds of CO2.   Additionally, since it is such a stable compound, it has a life of 3200 years in the atmosphere vs 200 years for CO2. Therefore, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a “voluntary program in which partner companies agree to reduce SF6 emissions through technically and economically feasible actions.”
Electronic Fluorocarbons continuously seeks out new processes and systems designed to facilitate the recovery and recycling of used SF6 from old breakers, cylinders, or other systems. EFC recycles this material and returns it to a fit-for-use purity that exceeds ASTM D2472-00 and IEC 60480 standards.

Where to buy SF6

Fully licensed and compliant with all US regulations, EFC provides SF6 at the highest purity levels possible: 99.9%, 99.99%, 99.995% and 99.999%. For use as a gaseous dielectric in high voltage equipment, we provide it at any purity required by the end user. We ship it under its own vapor pressure in cylinders with fill volumes from 18 to 115 pounds, as well as in bulk tanks and trailers.


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