Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) has been used for decades as an insulator in power plants and electrical transmission and distribution. This gas has excellent dielectric properties, almost three times better than air and nitrogen, and it works well as arc quencher in circuit breakers and electrical switchgear.
However, SF6 is the most potent greenhouse gas known. It is 23,900 times more effective than carbon dioxide (CO2) at trapping infrared radiation in the atmosphere. Chemically, it is very stable, and it has a lifetime of 3,200 years in the atmosphere.
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