Recently, a paper on NF3 was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. In the paper, the authors cited an inaccurate and implausible scenario in which 100% of global NF3 emissions would be released. We firmly reject that premise. In fact, scientific studies cited in the author's own paper indicate that only 2–3% percent of NF3 is actually emitted because the chemical is essentially destroyed during the manufacturing process. This low level of emission has been confirmed by data from both the U.S. EPA and the California Air Resource Board, as well as our own data based on more than 20 years of research and experience with our customers.
Air Products developed NF3 as a significantly better and more environmentally sound alternative to C2F6, another greenhouse gas, which had emission levels in the 60 to 70% range. The semiconductor industry committed to EPA to reduce PFC emissions 10% below 1995 levels by 2010. The industry has achieved that goal ahead of schedule, in large part, because of NF3. In recognition, Air Products received a Climate Protection Award from the EPA in 2002 for its work with NF3.
Air Products is firmly committed to working with our customers to further reduce the industry's impact on the environment. We funded the initial work that determined NF3 to be a greenhouse gas and still believe NF3 is the environmentally preferred material in this process. We agree that NF3 in the atmosphere should be measured and are investigating ways to do this.