Flat screen TVs: giving the world's climate a roasting?
Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology has reduced PFC emissions from its LCD manufacturing plant in Japan and switched to a process that uses fluorine instead of NF3. These and other measures taken at the plant are estimated to halve CO2-equivalent emissions.
Yet, despite such changes, total NF3 production is expected to double next year, suggesting more work could be done by the world's television, computer and other electronics manufacturers in Japan, Korea, China and elsewhere to reduce the use of NF3.
But NF3 producers are rushing to the gas's defence.
Air Products, a manufacturer of the NF3 gas, contends that very little of the gas is released to the atmosphere. If it isn't released, it can't contribute to global warming.
And at least one scientist backs that position.
Paul Fraser, chief research scientist at the CSIRO's marine and atmospheric research centre told ABC Radio in Australia that: "We haven't observed it in the atmosphere. It's probably there in very low concentrations. The key to whether it's a problem or not is how much is released to the atmosphere... that could be as low as one percent [of production]."
What did Prather say about that? Please read on.
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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.