Gas recycling technology helps reduce environmental impact

ABB has developed a patented technology for the comprehensive recycling of contaminated SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride) gas, based on a new energy efficient cryogenic process. The new technology has been implemented at a dedicated SF6 gas recycling center, which ABB recently established in New South Wales, Australia.
Purity of recycled SF6 gas using the newly developed technology is ~99.99 percent. This exceeds the purity that can be achieved using traditional methods and removes the need for costly and energy intensive gas destruction. Using recycled SF6 gas will help reduce carbon emissions and could result in a cost saving potential of up to 30 percent.

This breakthrough actively supports ABB’s complete lifecycle management approach, improving asset optimization and performance while reducing environmental impact in a cost effective manner. It is yet another example of how ABB remains at the forefront of technology and innovation while developing solutions for a better world.
SF6 gas is extensively used in the electrical industry for dielectric insulation and current interruption in circuit breakers, switchgear, and other electrical equipment. Pressurized SF6 gas is used for the safe and reliable operation of gas-insulated switchgear as it has a much higher dielectric strength than air or dry nitrogen, making it possible to significantly reduce product footprint and enable installation in constrained spaces. However its lifecycle management is a challenge for utility and industrial users. The cost of handling SF6 in a compliant manner can also be substantial, particularly when decommissioning aging substations.
This new service offering enables contaminated SF6 gas to be recycled into technical grade standard (according to IEC 60376 standards) for reuse using approved handling practices that do not allow the escape of SF6 gas into the atmosphere.
The service also covers monitoring to ensure compliance with changing local and international regulations and standards.
Recycling is an integral element in ABB’s portfolio of SF6 gas management solutions for switchgear installations designed to deliver:
– improved safety and lower risk
– reduced maintenance and replacement costs
– lower greenhouse gas emissions
– enhanced asset management capabilities.
ABB’s gas management solutions offering includes:
– commissioning and decommissioning
– maintenance of existing equipment
– inventory management
– disposal of gas.

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