Options to reduce emissions of SF6 from the EU non-ferrous metal industry

Oktober 2009
Report for the EU Commission
Winfried Schwarz
Barbara Gschrey

The European Council and Parliament adopted Regulation (EC) 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases (the F-Gas Regulation) which entered into force on 4th of July 2007. Inter alia, the use of SF6 in magnesium die-casting is prohibited as of 1 January 2008, except where the quantity of SF6 involved is below 850 kg per year (Art 8(1)). Art 10(2) of the Regulation requires the European Commission to assess whether the substitution of SF6 in gravity casting (e.g. sand casting) is technically feasible and cost-effective, and to review the 850 kg-threshold in die-casting with regard to available alternatives. The Commission has hence launched this study to assess options for the reduction of SF6 emissions from the non-ferrous metal industry. The study deals with the sectors of magnesium die casting and magnesium sand casting, which are explicitly addressed in Art 10(2), but recycling (re-melting) of magnesium and the production of aluminium alloys are also included. Primary magnesium production does not take place in the EU.

The study was carried out from December 2008 to October 2009 in collaboration with a Project Expert Group consisting of selected experts with many years of experience in the non-ferrous metal sector in Europe.