cranes in an industrial park along the shoreline of a lake with mountains in the distance

PFAS in Business and Industry

  • 3M’s innovative solutions that rely on PFAS include 3M’s™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids, 3M™ Fluorinert™ Electronic Liquids, 3M™ Performance Fluids and fluoropolymer products.

    3M manufactures these products at select facilities worldwide using proprietary processes designed to help ensure the safety of our workers, and the communities where we live and operate. We are committed to responsible operations and take steps to minimize our environmental impact through the use of state-of-the-art control technologies and continue to explore new and innovative means to uphold our commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Important Industry Uses

3M’s valued customers worldwide use these products for their unique properties to boldly innovate and improve lives. Novec fluids, Fluorinert liquids, performance fluids and fluoropolymer products are used in industrial applications and offer significant benefits.  These products have performance properties that are difficult to reproduce with alternative technologies.

Examples of their important applications include:

  • two lab technicians working on tablets
    Providing Safer Solutions for Workers

    Novec fluids offer powerful cleaning performance as well as a safer alternative for workers to many other cleaning solvents used in key industries including electronics, transportation, medical devices and advanced manufacturing.

  • Immersion cooling in data center with 3M fluids
    Increasing Energy Efficiency

    Data centers that power our connected world consume tremendous amounts of energy. 3M fluids can reduce the energy associated with cooling these facilities, which in turn can reduce facilities’ energy footprint, costs and impacts on natural resources.

  • Electricity pylons with power plant at the horizon.
    Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    The electrical power industry has long relied on a potent greenhouse gas to prevent potentially dangerous arcing. By using 3M Novec solutions in these applications, companies can reduce greenhouse gas impacts of these applications by as much as 99%.  Other Novec products will continue to play an important role in enabling the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances and phase down of hydrofluorocarbons controlled by the Montreal Protocol and subsequent amendments.

  • tanker truck on a bridge
    Decarbonized Transportation

    Another important category of PFAS is fluoropolymers, such as 3M ionomers. High conductivity ionomers enable hydrogen powered Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, which offer promising solutions to decarbonize commercial vehicles and heavy-duty trucks. 3M ionomers can also be used in production of Green Hydrogen from water and renewable electricity, which may offer a truly zero emission transportation solution.

  • These are just some of the ways 3M solutions are building a brighter future using PFAS. Additional information about these materials is available in 3M’s product and technical literature, websites, and safety data sheets (SDS). 3M rigorously evaluates its products for their safety and suitability for their intended uses.

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    Spotlight Application: Fluoropolymers for the Future of 5G

    Certain fluoropolymers that 3M manufactures are critical in electronics and equipment, such as cables and circuit boards, that enable modern innovations like 5G networks. These products’ unique characteristics help prevent signal loss in transmission devices, which allows signals to travel further and reduces infrastructure costs. They are also used in wires and cables to help improve signal clarity for users. These technologies are vital to help enable a more connected future for our world, empowered by 5G.

Science-based PFAS Management

PFAS are a broad category of materials with a wide range of physical and chemical properties. Because PFAS encompasses several thousand substances with different chemical structures, it is not scientifically appropriate to consider them as a single group.

Because these broad definitions of PFAS encompass a range of materials, organizations including the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have established distinct classes, such as high molecular weight fluoropolymers, for hazard assessments and regulatory purposes. Recognizing such distinct characteristics is vital to ensure sound management of all regulated materials, including PFAS.

Furthermore, because of important safety, health and/or environmental considerations, it is important that the benefits of PFAS solutions are thoughtfully considered in crafting regulations that could impact their availability.

We are committed to actively engaging regulatory authorities globally in important dialogue about these products to help promote science-based regulatory measures related to 3M’s solutions, which are used in important business and industrial settings. We encourage our customers to share their perspective in these processes.

Contact us to learn more about 3M Solutions

Our team, including engineers, scientists and other experts, can answer your questions and offer the global support you need.