Monday, December 8, 2008

It's been a while since I've posted. I lessened my news consumption following on the heels of the election, and I found myself with less to say. I thought I'd post this, however, from Yale Environment 360. It turns out that the major gas used in the production of numerous tech-products, including thin-film solar photovoltaic cells (not to be confused with crystalline silicon cells) is a huge (HUGE!) contributor to global warming:
It may sound like somebody’s idea of a bad joke. But last month, a study from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography reported that nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), with a global warming potential of 17,000 [In contrast, the GWP of CO2 = 1, Alex], is now present in the atmosphere at four times the expected level and rapidly rising. Use of NF3 is currently booming, for products from computer chips and flats-screen LCDs to thin-film solar photovoltaics, an economical and increasingly popular solar power format.
The production method with NF3 allows producers to only produce about 2 per cent emissions; however, most large scale production releases around 8 per cent, and most smaller scale production, not equipped with the appropriate sequestration tools, tends to release closer to 20 per cent. Right now, production of NF3 is around 7,300 tons per year, and it is expected to rise to 20,000 tons over the next four years. Now would be a good time for everyone to read John Bellamy Foster.

No comments: