Saturday, July 04, 2009

The impact of new technology on our environment

An element broadly used to produce microchips and flat-screen monitors and televisions has 17,000 times the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide, but remains unfettered under domestic laws or international treaties.The chemical in issue is known as nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and researchers Michael J. Prather and Juno Hsu have called it the "missing greenhouse gas." previously used only in little quantities to create microchips, NF3 has become a main product due to its use in the liquid crystal displays of flat-screen televisions and computer monitors. Global production is expected to reach 8,000 tons per year by 2010, which could have a global warming effect equivalent to 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Semiconductor manufacturers determined that NF3 would make a superior substitute for PFCs (perfluorocarbons, it is used in creating chips at first), even though NF3 has a much larger greenhouse effect. The source was that while two-thirds of PFCs escape into the atmosphere during manufacturing, studies illustrated that only 2 percent of NF3s escape during the same process. Prather has challenged these numbers, noting that NF3 is "a slippery gas," capable of escaping not only during manufacturing but also through transport, application or discarding.

“This will cause a drastic change in the environment “


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