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Tests Show Promise for New Environment Friendly Technologies

Release Date: 09/01/2006
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C. - September 1, 2006) Emissions of the most potent greenhouse gas, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), could be history in less than four years, according to results of pilot tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the magnesium industry. Preliminary results show that alternative technologies have the potential to replace SF6, which is used to prevent oxidation and burning of molten metal.

"By investing in innovative technologies, our country's environmental well being will improve," said Bill Wehrum, EPA acting assistant administrator for Air and Radiation. "The Bush Administration understands that international collaboration will lead the way in identifying technologies that protect our global environment."

Led by EPA's SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for the Magnesium Industry, a group of companies and researchers from Australia, Canada, Japan, and the U.S. conducted the tests and emission measurements for cutting-edge, climate friendly melt protection technologies that promise significant environmental benefits.

EPA's Magnesium Partnership is a cooperative effort between EPA and industry to reduce and eliminate emissions of sulfur hexafluoride from magnesium production and casting processes through cost-effective technologies and practices. Eliminating emissions from SF6 about three million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually is roughly equal to emissions from 500,000 vehicles per year.

The Bush Administration has committed financial, international and domestic resources to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The president’s policy achieves near-term reductions, while investing in long-term solutions. In 2004, EPA’s voluntary partnerships prevented over 60 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the annual emissions from over 40 million vehicles. EPA's climate programs continue to exceed the Agency’s greenhouse gas emissions goals and are on target to meet the president's goal to reduce greenhouse gas intensity 18 percent by 2012.

More information about EPA's SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for the Magnesium Industry: