A wide range of gas mixtures is used for the operation of different gaseous detectors at the CERN LHC experiments. Some gases, as C2H2F4, CF4, C4F10 and SF6, are greenhouse gases (GHG) with high global warming potential and therefore subject to a phase down policy affecting the market with price increase and reduced availability.
The reduction of GHG emissions is an objective of paramount importance for CERN: four different strategies have been identified to achieve it.
The first strategy is based on the use of gas mixture recirculation plants. This solution is used in all plants suppling gaseous mixture to the CERN LHC detector systems. The approach and the development of such technology made at CERN will be presented. Furthermore, to protect detectors against their intrinsic fragility, the development of additional modules is ongoing to achieve a pressure and flow stability which goes beyond original design.
The second approach is based on recuperation of used gas mixtures followed by separation of the most critical GHG for its re-use. As state-of-the-art example, the CF4 recuperation plant and the prototype for C2H2F4 recuperation will be reviewed.
A third approach is making use of industrially available solutions for disposal of GHG.
Finally, the use of new eco-friendly gases is object of many R&D programs by the particle research community.
The four strategies will be compared by considering investment required, potential return benefit and technological readiness.