its absence from the Kyoto Protocol.
W o r l d T r e n d s & F o r e c a s t s NF3 production has consequently in-
creased 15%–17% a year, from 1,000
tons produced in 1992 to a projected
8,000 tons in 2010.
Most of the NF3 is destroyed dur-
ing these processes, but a remnant
escapes into the atmosphere where it
can linger for up to 740 years. The
amount of NF 3 reaching the atmo-
New Greenhouse Gas Threat sphere varies from 2% to 16%, de-
And you thought carbon dioxide was bad for the earth’s climate! pending on what types of emissions-
control systems the manufacturers use.
Manufacturers have many options
hat do solar panels and now responsible for only 0.04% of for controlling emissions. Emissions-
global warming have in human-induced global warming reduction systems on the market to-
common? compared with the 60% attributable day can capture the escaping NF3 for
The answer: Both are produced to CO2 emissions, its share could in- later reuse or destroy it before it can
with nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), a gas crease exponentially. The report leave the facility. Manufacturers can
that is 17,000 times more effective notes that NF 3’s atmospheric pres- also substitute more earth-friendly
than carbon dioxide at trapping at- ence is growing by 11% a year. chemicals. The UN report notes that
mospheric heat, according to geo- United Nations officials share Toshiba Matsushita Display, Sam-
chemistry professor Ray Weiss and a Weiss’s concerns. In 2008, the UN’s sung, and LG all opt for fluorine,
team of researchers at the University Framework Convention on Climate which has no greenhouse-gas poten-
of California–San Diego Scripps In- change added NF3 to a list of gases tial and no life-span in the atmo-
stitution of Oceanography. that the Kyoto Protocol should regu- sphere.
Weiss and his team expect NF3 to late. The Kyoto Protocol, which is Fluorine has drawbacks, though,
become a bigger problem in the near due to be succeeded by a new cli- in cost and legal liability: It is highly
future because it is used in the man- mate treaty in 2012, currently sets no toxic and cannot be transported off-
ufacturing of three highly popular official limit on NF3. site. The UN report evinces skepti-
products: LCD televisions, computer According to the UNFCC, manu- cism that most companies are goi