Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne recognized by Energy Secretary Chu for greenhouse gas reductions

By Diana AndersonMay 30, 2012

Argonne National Laboratory is leading the way in greenhouse gas reductions, particularly with the recapture and recycling of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). SF6 is a gas used in industry as an anti-arcing agent. It is an extremely potent greenhouse gas — one pound of SF6 is equivalent to 12 tons of carbon dioxide.

While the U.S. does not currently regulate SF6 emissions, Argonne is proactively and voluntarily recovering and recycling to reduce SF6 emissions. Argonne saves over 16,000 tons of SF6 from being emitted into the atmosphere each year, and by recycling the gas rather than purchasing it new, the laboratory saves taxpayers over $208,000 each year.

U. S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recognized the Fugitive Emissions Working Group, of which Argonne is a part, for leadership efforts in the reduction of SF6 with the 2011 Secretary’s Achievement Award. Greg Barrett, Environmental Engineer, accepted the award on behalf of Argonne National Laboratory and all Argonne employees who have contributed to the laboratory’s SF6 reduction efforts.

Read more about Argonne’s Sustainability Program at the GreenLab Initiative website.