Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Solvent cleaning: F-gas controls

F-gases in solvents

Solvent users need to comply with certain fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gas) obligations.

What you must do

F-gas obligations

Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) such as HFC-4310mee and HFC-365mfc are used as solvents and are covered by F-gas obligations. Trade names for these products include Vertrel, Lenium 'F' Series, Solvokane, Electrolube and Flutec.

Some F-gas solvents have a high global warming potential (GWP). GWP measures the strength of a gas in warming the atmosphere. This is a measure of how many times more powerful the gas is in contributing to global warming than CO2. CO2 has a GWP of one.

You should check whether you use solvents containing F-gases that are covered by F-gas regulations and what the GWP of the solvent is.

If you use F-gas solvents covered by F-gas regulations you must comply with a number of obligations.

Recover solvent

Only appropriately qualified personnel must recover F-gas solvent from equipment during plant servicing and maintenance and at their end of life. You must also send recovered solvents for reprocessing or destruction.

Don't knowingly release solvents

You must not knowingly release F-gas solvent vapours to the atmosphere or pour solvents into the drains.

Hold personnel qualifications

Any personnel carrying out solvent recovery activities must hold an appropriate recognised qualification issued in the UK or the rest of the European Union (EU). The designated certification body is Fraser Technologies Ltd.

Your business must not take delivery of F-gas containers unless your personnel who recover solvents are appropriately qualified. The person physically taking delivery does not need to be qualified unless they also perform recovery work.

GOV.UK: F-gases guidance for users, producers and traders

Environmental News Blog

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!

Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms