Following the successful implementation of fluorine technology at Schüco TF’s 40MW Osterweddingen site, the company has signed a significant long-term supply contract with Linde Gases for the delivery of onsite fluorine (F2) to its new thin-film module mass production site in Großröhrsdorf, eastern Germany.

This second onsite F2 contract signed between the companies marks the complete elimination of the use of nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) from Schüco TF’s manufacturing process. 

Carl Jackson, head of fluorine business at the Linde Gases Division said, “Linde and Schüco TF have demonstrated their leadership and foresight in helping the thin-film PV industry to reach a watershed moment. Green energy will only get the green light once the entire supply and manufacturing chain works together to minimise the environmental impact of this sector.”

The use of onsite F2 technology at the Großröhrsdorf facility removes any risk of unabated emissions, reducing non-productive cleaning time and improving throughput. As a result, the carbon payback time is reduced by up to one year.

Prof. Dr. Stiebig, general manager for photovoltaics at Schüco TF said, “The benefits of this agreement for us are three-fold: we can reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of the module production facility whilst radically minimising the environmental impact during the manufacturing process of our thin-film solar panels.”

As part of the agreement, Linde will construct the largest electronics F2 production plant in Europe.


Fab Cleaning Gas CO2 Equivalent Emissions



NF3 (tonnes/year) approximate usage per MW



GWP100 for NF3 (tons CO2 eq) ref [1]

17,200 tonnes


NF3 lifecycle emission ref [2]: Scripps Institute measurements



NF3 CO2 eq lifecycle emission ref [3]: ECN/M&W-Z study

2,200 kg CO2 per kg NF3


NF3 lifecycle emission [Linde estimate]



Customers plant capacity MW



Equivalent CO2 reduction at Schüco Großröhrsdorf using ref [2] = A x B x C x F

165,120 tonnes per year


Equivalent CO2 reduction at Schüco Großröhrsdorf using ref [3] = A x D x F

132,000 tonnes per year


Equivalent CO2 reduction at Schüco Großröhrsdorf using Linde estimate = A x B x E x F

103,200 tonnes per year