Got Fluorine?

Recently, we reported on an environmentally unfriendly aspect of LCD screen manufacturing - the use of nitrogen trifluoride as a cleaning agent in the production process. (Some sites are incorrectly reporting that NF3 is contained in LCD TVs themselves; this is incorrect). Anyway, though it's not as bad as some alternatives, NF3 is something you'd definitely like to avoid breathing on a regular basis.

Our friends over at CE Pro are reporting on a solution to the problem . . .

The Linde Group now has a production process that uses pure fluorine as a cleaning agent.  D'oh!  Of course! F instead of NF3 - it makes perfect sense!

Seriously, environmentally-safe fluorine should eliminate global warming concerns in LCD production, and may be generally more efficient anyway. Gases such as NF3 are used to flush out by-products of the chemical vapor deposition used in LCD panel production, as well as integrated-circuit manufacturing.

Ironically, NF3 is also used in the production of solar panels too. So, making that process more green saves all kinds of embarrassment. The Linde Group says its on-site fluorine generators have been installed at more than 20 LCD, semiconductor, and solar cell production sites, including those of LG, Samsung, and Toshiba Matsushita Display.

Good work, Linde. Now, if only we can do something about all that toxic mercury in those "environmentally friendly" compact fluorescent light bulbs. -Ken C. Pohlmann