|Electric Power Providers and Magnesium Industry Cooperate to Reduce Sulfur Hexaflouride (SF6) Emissions and Mitigate Global Warming|
|Tuesday, May 17, 2011|
Electric Power Providers and Magnesium Industry Cooperate to Reduce Sulfur Hexaflouride (SF6) Emissions and Mitigate Global Warming
Chinese Taipei has been promoting voluntary reduction of GHG emissions among industries, signing separate memoranda with opto-electronics and semiconductor industry associations in 2004 and 2005. In September 2010, once again under the EPA's initiative, Taipower Company and the Taiwan Magnesium Association (TMA) were brought together to sign a memorandum to reduce sulfur hexaflouride (SF6) emissions and cooperatively contribute to the mitigation of global warming.
According to a report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), one kilogram of SF6 has the global warming potential equivalent to 22.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is why reduction of SF6 emissions has been such a high priority, although SF6 comprises only about 3% of Chinese Taipei's GHG emissions.
Chinese Taipei's main SF6 emissions are from the opto-electronics, semiconductors, electric power and magnesium alloy industries. The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has had the opto-electronics and semiconductor industries sign comprehensive memoranda to voluntarily cooperate on reducing emissions of flouridated compounds, with the result of preventing 24 million tonnes of CO2e emissions to date. In the electric power industry, SF6 is mainly used (in concentrations over 99%) for insulating high voltage equipment, and leaks out as atmospheric emissions. Since 2006, the EPA has proactively promoted SF6 recycling in the electric power industry. In 2009, research and development tasks were completed on purification and re-use of waste SF6 from Chinese Taipei's electric power industry. Research results indicated that waste SF6 from electric power production that contaminates water and other substances can be treated and purified, then directly supplied for use by magnesium alloy industries. Since this re-use can also lower domestic SF6 emissions, the electric power industry and the magnesium alloy industry were urgently brought together to sign a mutual cooperation memorandum to voluntarily reduce SF6 emissions.
Effective for ten years, the main arrangements of this memorandum include Taipower Company providing waste SF6 to the TMA at set periods. After receiving information on incoming SF6 amounts, within a month the TMA can make plans for its re-use. Also, both sides are to jointly plan ahead on SF6 reduction technology, and publicize reduction outcomes at relevant domestic and foreign conferences. The EPA, besides being the witnessing role to this memorandum, will also provide updated domestic and foreign emission reduction information, while continuing to assist the two industries in advancing the memorandum's reduction arrangements.