Linde Gases, a division of the Linde Group, have enabled users to switch to on-site generated fluorine (F2) from nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). The change could reduce CO2 emissions by 250,000 tons in 2010 alone.
Dean O’Connor, Head of Market Development & Technology at Linde Gases commented, ‘Environmental concerns continue to dominate the global agenda, and the manufacturing ecosystem as a whole needs to start channelling efforts towards reducing carbon emissions.’
Malibu and Masdar PV were among the first to adopt on-site production of F2 to manufacture large-scale PV modules. Last year saw STMicroelectronics’ fabrication plant in France loop into the new technology.
The Crolles 300mm wafer fabrication plant reduced the environmental impact of producing semiconductors by eliminating high pressure cylinder deliveries. Similarly, a major Japanese semiconductor manufacturer also recently opted to replace their high-pressure cylinder supply of F2 with on-site generated F2.
Linde Gases highlight the suitability of this in locations where import and distribution networks for electronic materials are younger than elsewhere. To overcome such challenges, the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences installed its first on-site F2 generator in 2009.
Additionally, 2009 saw Linde’s on-site fluorine succeed in tests on all the main thin-film PV OEM platforms.
Dean O’Connor cited that collaboration with industry leaders in photovoltaics, semiconductors, flat panel displays and academia was, ‘a testament to Linde’s commitment to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.’