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Paul L. Bechly papers
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Paul L. Bechly papers

Accession 2723

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
askhagley@hagley.org

Finding aid prepared by Dave Burdash; Clayton J. Ruminski, 2018.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2018-04-04T11:16-0400

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Paul L. Bechly papers (Accession 2723), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Paul L. Bechly papers
Dates: 1990-1993
Accession Number: 2723
Creator: Bechly, Paul L.
Extent: 1 linear foot
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: Paul L. Bechly worked in various positions for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company between 1980 and 1993, including research and development, engineering, distribution, sales, and product management. Bechly's papers document his efforts at developing and implementing a successful perfluorocarbon (PFC) policy for the DuPont Company in the early 1990s. The papers also reflect DuPont’s companywide initiative to be at the forefront of environmental policy with regard to the global reduction of PFC emissions.
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Administrative Information


Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

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Historical Note

Paul L. Bechly worked in various positions for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company between 1980 and 1993, including research and development, engineering, distribution, sales, and product management.

In the early 1990s, Bechly was the driver and leader of an effort to develop and implement a perfluorocarbon (PFC) policy for DuPont and allied industries. Bechly and his team sought to reduce the amount of PFCs - potent gases associated with global warming and ozone depletion - sold as DuPont products, such as Freon, a refrigerant commonly used in air conditioners, and as by-products of its Polymers operations. DuPont accounted for roughly 2% of all PFC emissions, with the other 98% originating from the aluminum industry.

To counter this issue, Bechly organized a roundtable of DuPont technical, environmental, and business representatives, including representation from both the Polymers and Electronics businesses. Bechly also led a team of environmental scientists to study and provide data on greenhouse gases, and their sources, their atmospheric effects, and options for control. The scientists also listed safe substitutes for the harmful gases, described the shelf life of the harmful chemicals in the atmosphere, and provided information about how industry has contributed to the global warming trend. As a result, the roundtable developed a corporate position to reduce PFC emissions where practical, or eliminate them entirely. Furthermore, Bechly worked with the sales and marketing team to develop environmentally responsible sales policy by no longer selling PFC electronic gases to those who did not contain, recycle, or destroy the compounds subsequent to use. The roundtable also worked with the Aluminum Association and related industries to develop similar policy.

In 1991, Bechly and his team developed Zyron, a specialty gas marketed to the global electronics industry that would replace Freon. It became a registered trademark of DuPont in 1993. As a result of Bechly’s work, he was awarded DuPont’s Environmental Excellence Award in 1992.

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Scope and Content

The Paul L. Bechly papers document Bechly’s efforts at developing and implementing a successful perfluorocarbon (PFC) policy for the DuPont Company in the early 1990s. The papers also reflect DuPont’s companywide initiative to be at the forefront of environmental policy with regard to the global reduction of PFC emissions.

The papers are primarily composed of roundtable meeting minutes and discussions, correspondence, and data research leading to DuPont’s recommendations and policy regarding the curtailing of PFC derivatives in favor of substitute compounds to help curtail global warming. Minutes from DuPont’s Environmental Leadership Council include reports containing data of environmental incidents across most major industries, as well as PFC status reports based on contemporary studies.

Numerous reports discuss the effects of PFCs and other chemicals in the Earth’s atmosphere, as well as discussions and studies related to Freon and Zyron. There are also several drafts of DuPont’s corporate and sales policies on PFC emissions, as well as data on emissions from the aluminum industry. Documents related to Bechly's acceptance of DuPont's Environmental Excellence Award for the implementation of the PFC roundtable are also included. Lastly, there is a copy of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore’s October 1993 "Climate Change Action Plan".

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Arrangement

The papers are arranged chronologically.

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Series Descriptions and Inventory

Box Folder
1 1 Greenhouse effect, climate change, DuPont principles and recommended solutions, 1990 May-October
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1 2 3M products to replace chlorofluorocarbons, 1990-1991
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1 3 Science policy revisited, 1991 February
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1 4 First draft of PFC policy, 1991 February-March
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1 5 Air products: a way to grow CF4 as a profitable business, 1991 March-December
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1 6 Perfluorocarbons roundtable discussion, 1991 March-April
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1 7 PFC issue positioning - rountable discussion, scope of issues, principles of implementation, 1991
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1 8 Health and safety issues, PFC compounds, use in aluminum industry, letter to President Bush, 1991 April
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1 9 PFC roundtable - meeting summary, 1991 May
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1 10 PFC roundtable II, 1991 April-May
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1 11 CTF sources in atmosphere, trends and impact of global warming, 1991 May
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1 12 PFC roundtable II - comments on principles and policy, 1991 June
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1 13 PFC rountable III, 1991 June-July
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1 14 Policy and recommendations for PFC issues, 1991 July
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1 15 Measurements of vertical column of sulphur hexofluoride from the ground, 1991 August
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1 16 3M announces CFC replacement fluids, 1991 September
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1 17 Global warming task force, freon discussion, new PFC information, 1991 October
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1 18 Aluminum industry PFC issues, thermal incineration of PFCs, 1991 November
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1 19 PCFs retain heat in atmosphere, compounds with long atmospheric lifetimes, data on CO2 emissions compared to potential global warming, 1991 December
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1 20 Projected PFC emissions 1990-2000, aluminum gases, impact of PFC gases, 1992 January
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1 21 "Background of PFC Issues and Recommended Course of Action" by P.L. Bechly, 1992 January
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1 22 PFC gas issue presented to DuPont leadership, 1992 January
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1 23 Sampling of gases for concentration, minutes of environmental leadership council, smelting,, 1992 February
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1 24 Data on harmful gases, 1992 March
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1 25 Emission reductions, refrigerants policy, warning about PFC and global warming, 1992 April
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1 26 Effectiveness of a vacuum gas scrubber, notes on chlorofluorocarbons from Dupont annual meeting, 1992 May
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1 27 "Determination of the CEMi Sergeant unit for the Decomposition of F-116 (C2F6)" by M.T. Mocella, 1992 June
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1 28 PFC marketing, DuPont taking action, papers about global warming, 1992 July
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1 29 Demonstration of workbook on global warming, 1992 July-August
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1 30 PFC refrigerant policy, environmental leadership council minutes, 1992 August
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1 31 Bechly receives Environmental Excellence Award for Environmentally Responsible Perfluorocarbons Policy, 1992 October
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1 32 Zyron, what we learned from studying PFCs, 1992 September
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1 33 "Chemicals in the Atmosphere" edited by Cheng and Sze, 1992 November
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1 34 Marketing excellence for Zyron, tests for abatement of emissions from semi conductors, 1992 October-December
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1 35 Atmospheric lifetimes of long-lived chemicals, global warming and semiconductors, 1993 January-April
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1 36 Workshop on atmospheric effects, origins, and options for control of CF4 and C2F6, 1993 April
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1 37 EPA lists 130 safe substitutes for CFC, sources of atmospheric sulphur hexafluoride, 1993 May-August
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1 38 "The Climate Change Action Plan" by President William J. Clinton and Vice-President Albert Gore, Jr., 1993 October
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1 39 News article announcing PFC use and emissions may face restrictions, 1993 April