Large parts of the periodic table cannot be cooled by current laser-based methods. We investigate whether zero energy fragmentation of laser cooled fluorides is a potential source of ultracold fluorine atoms. We report new ab initio calculations on the lowest electronic states of the BeF diatomic molecule including spin-orbit coupling, the calculated minima for the valence electronic states being within 1 pm of the spectroscopic values. A four colour cooling scheme based on the A2? ? X2S+ transition is shown to be feasible for this molecule. Multi-Reference Configuration Interaction (MRCI) potentials of the lowest energy Rydberg states are reported for the first time and found to be in good agreement with experimental data. A series of multi-pulse excitation schemes from a single rovibrational level of the cooled molecule are proposed to produce cold fluorine atoms.