Chemical Handling Equipment to Address Your High Tech Manufacturing Requirements

Chemical Handling Equipment to Address Your High-Tech Manufacturing RequirementsEditor’s Note: This article was originally published in October 2014 and has been updated with new information and reposted in November 2023.

When high-tech manufacturing operations use aggressive chemicals, critical concerns for chemical handling equipment are reliability, accuracy, safety, and regulatory compliance. Reliable operation means the equipment delivers the required chemicals without leaks, spills, or breakdowns. Each chemical’s dosage and the process parameters’ setting must be precise. Operator safety and chemical containment are paramount if a leak or spill occurs. Finally, the whole chemical handling system is subject to environmental and safety standards. Compliance with the corresponding regulations has to be maintained and documented.

An experienced manufacturer of chemical handling equipment can help process engineers and manufacturing facility managers ensure that the delivered equipment meets their needs. In-house design and manufacturing expertise are crucial for customizing chemical handling equipment for special requirements. Choosing chemical handling equipment from the right supplier can significantly improve overall facility performance and efficiency.

How to Select the Right Supplier

Selecting the right supplier can reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve workplace safety, but there are other benefits as well. When facility operators and managers don’t have to worry about the performance of their chemical handling systems, they can focus on optimizing other areas of the business. The expertise of the chemical handling equipment supplier can directly impact costs and output. As a leading supplier of chemical handling equipment, Modutek has the required in-house expertise, a proven track record, and a complete line of high-quality, reliable equipment.

Modutek Offers Comprehensive Solutions for Chemical Handling

Modutek can analyze operations and make recommendations based on a broad range of experience in providing systems and equipment to meet the needs of technology manufacturers. The chemical handling, delivery, and collection systems that Modutek provides include the following:

  • Acid Fume Scrubbers: Scrubbers use a chemical solution in a wet-packed bed to remove almost all hazardous acid fumes and droplets from the air.
  • Acid Neutralization Systems: Continuous flow or batch systems neutralize chemical waste to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Chemical Carts/Chemical Pump Carts: Carts safely collect chemicals from the manufacturing process for transfer to neutralization sites or off-site disposal.
  • Chemical Collection: Modutek’s collection systems manage chemical disposal levels from five-gallon carboys to large collection tanks to avoid downtime.
  • Chemical Delivery Systems: Delivery and mixing systems provide the required chemicals precisely and safely at the endpoint in the manufacturing line.
  • Chemical Lift Stations: Lift stations safely pump waste chemicals and rinse water directly from the manufacturing process tanks to a neutralizing area.

Modutek’s chemical handling equipment can increase manufacturing facility efficiency, reduce waste, and handle hazardous chemicals safely. While the different types of equipment can operate as stand-alone units, integrating them into a functional system can improve chemical flow. Customization is often necessary to ensure that the integrated system fully matches the requirements of the manufacturing facility and the processes used. Customers can rely on Modutek’s in-house design and manufacturing expertise to develop integrated systems with the required customization.

Beyond Basic Chemical Handling

In addition to expertise in chemical handling equipment and the design of integrated chemical handling systems, Modutek has extensive experience designing and building manufacturing equipment to manage processes that use aggressive chemicals. Equipment such as quartz baths and temperature-controlled circulators can improve process results. Quartz baths are used for acid and alkaline processes because their inert nature reduces chemical contamination. Precise heating and cooling controls for circulating baths provide excellent repeatability for batches and reliable temperature regulation for continuous operation. Modutek can help add equipment to work with the basic chemical handling system to streamline chemical-process-based manufacturing further.

Choose Modutek to Provide Tailored Solutions for Unique Needs

Modutek can analyze a manufacturing process from an expert point of view. This includes identifying the unique chemical handling requirements and any advanced chemical process elements customers may have. Modutek then proposes solutions emphasizing safety, efficiency, and any performance requirements.

Choosing Modutek as the chemical handling equipment partner allows customers to receive leading-edge solutions with excellent support. Modutek is a trusted partner with credibility and expertise supported by an industry track record of over 40 years. Chemical handling systems from Modutek fulfill high-tech manufacturing operations’ requirements and are designed to meet specific customer needs. for a free consultation to discuss your specific chemical handling requirements.

Acid Neutralization Systems from Modutek

Acid Neutralization Systems from ModutekEditor’s Note: This article was originally published in July 2014 and has been updated with new information and reposted in Sep 2023.

Chemical waste from industrial manufacturing processes is often toxic and requires treatment before disposal. Aggressive chemicals represent a danger to local populations and the environment. An acid neutralization system adds chemicals to the chemical waste to reduce toxicity. When the right acid neutralization system is selected for a specific industrial process, the neutralized waste is often safe enough to flush down the municipal sewer.

Modutek designs and builds many types of chemical handling equipment, including self-contained acid neutralization systems that allow industrial customers to avoid using expensive third-party disposal companies. The systems Modutek provides are easy to install and feature low operating costs. They can be customized to match the customer application and fit available space. Such on-site chemical treatment and disposal is safe and cost-effective.

Understanding Acid Neutralization

Waste from industrial processes is often highly acidic—the liquid’s pH measures the waste’s acidity. A low pH means the waste contains strong acids and is highly corrosive. For example, an acidic sulfuric acid solution could have a pH of 3 and cause severe skin burns. The pH must be raised before the acidic waste can be disposed of safely.

A neutral pH of 7 is the pH of ordinary water, and a solution with a pH of 7 is no longer dangerous. The acid neutralization system must add enough alkaline chemicals to the acid waste to raise the pH to a safe level. A typical target pH of 6 to 9 is considered safe for disposal in the local sewer system.

Continuous Flow Systems versus Batch Neutralization Systems

Chemical waste can be neutralized continuously or in smaller batches. For continuous flow systems, the neutralizing chemicals are constantly added as the waste flow exits the process. The outflow is monitored to ensure that the pH remains within acceptable levels. For batch neutralizing systems, the chemical waste is collected and held in a collection containment tank. Once a given quantity is stored, the required neutralizing chemicals are added, and batch disposal can occur once the target pH is reached.

Continuous flow systems are most effective when the flow is relatively stable in terms of volume, pH, and nature of the waste chemicals. If significant variations occur, the continuous flow system may not be able to keep up, and impermissible values of pH may be reached in the outflow. Even when the outflow is relatively constant, the outflow pH may vary to some extent, so continuous flow systems are unsuitable when the outflow pH has to be within a narrow range.

Batch neutralization systems are lower cost but are focused more on applications with low volumes. The neutralization can be executed depending on the batch’s composition, and exact pH values can be attained. When waste is highly acidic or alkaline, batch neutralization systems can be more easily adapted to actual needs. In some applications, batch neutralization systems are the better choice.

Modutek Offers Systems that are Customized to Specific Applications

Modutek continuous flow acid neutralization systems can handle from 5 to 500 GPM and are available with two or three-stage operation, depending on the details of the process. The systems are unitized with larger systems skid-mounted for indoor or outdoor operation. Controls are fully automatic with microprocessor-based pH controls and a strip chart recorder. Chemicals are injected via two metering pumps per stage, and alarms can be sent remotely via the Internet. A final sample tank has a pH probe and chart recorder to document compliance with regulations.

Modutek’s batch sequence reactor systems can treat chemical waste, including heavy metals, metal anions, fluorides, and chelated/complex metals. Reactions can be programmed for multiple reagents and sequences. The systems are built with double containment and leak detection, and the contents of the built-in holding tank can be processed automatically. Safe operation is monitored with alarms for high and low pH, low reagent levels, high tank levels, and leakage. Modutek’s batch neutralization systems are designed for demanding chemical waste treatment and are the preferred option for process outflow with greatly varying characteristics.

Choosing the Right Neutralization System is Important for Environmental Protection

Selecting an acid neutralization system unsuitable for the process can have severe consequences both from a regulatory and environmental point of view. Modutek offers a free consultation to ensure that the chosen neutralization system is suitable for the application and performs as expected. Contact Modutek for recommendations on selecting the right acid neutralization system for your process application.

How to Safely Handle and Dispose of Chemicals Using Chemical Carts

How to Safely Handle and Dispose of Chemicals Using Chemical CartsWhen an industrial process such as semiconductor manufacturing requires the use of hazardous chemicals, safe disposal of chemical waste becomes essential. Chemicals such as sulfuric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and hydrogen peroxide play a crucial role in silicon wafer cleaning and stripping, but they must be handled carefully. Spills represent a danger to employees and the environment. Improper disposal can endanger the public and damage surrounding ecosystems.

Chemical carts make the handling and disposal of chemical waste easier and safer. Once collected from the process, the chemicals can be treated according to environmental regulations. By using chemical carts for waste chemical handling and disposal, businesses can reduce the risks inherent in using these chemicals and provide a safer working environment for employees.

Safe Chemical Handling of Aggressive Chemicals Protects Everyone

While some large operations that use chemicals can have permanently installed collection and disposal systems, smaller industrial plants, labs, and university research facilities often have to dispose of individual tanks of waste chemicals. This is especially true if the chemical process runs in batches or the facility produces prototypes. Once the processing of the batch is complete, a tank with acid or solvent waste must be properly handled and stored if it is not neutralized. The challenge is safely handling the tank contents.

Safe handling and disposal of hazardous chemicals involve several significant components. These include the following:

  • Employee Safety. The facility must provide the equipment and procedures to ensure employees can safely dispose of the chemical waste. Safety protocols have to be applied and enforced.
  • Chemical Containment. The equipment has to be designed to minimize spills. Systems for collecting, transferring, storing, and neutralizing the chemicals must have design features to contain possible spills.
  • Chemical Neutralization. Before disposal, chemical waste must be neutralized so it’s no longer dangerous to people that handle it. Once chemicals are neutralized, further treatment may be required to remove substances that are not dangerous but can harm the environment.
  • Waste Disposal. Chemical waste can be neutralized and disposed of on-site or in an off-site facility. In each case, environmental regulations and municipal guidelines must be followed to avoid harming the surrounding ecosystems. Neutralization and disposal must be documented.

Safe handling of hazardous chemical waste is essential for protecting employees and the general public. Following national and local regulations ensures the facility can operate without harming its surroundings.

Chemical Carts Can Help with the Safe Disposal of Dangerous Chemical Waste

Modutek’s chemical carts are designed to handle and dispose of dangerous chemical waste safely and responsibly. The carts are easily moved next to tanks containing chemicals and pump the waste into containers inside the carts. An onboard suction wand makes it easy for operators to transfer the chemicals to the cart. The carts are constructed of white polypropylene and powered pneumatically, so no electric connection is needed.

The containers on the carts are Department of Transport (DOT) approved with double containment. Chemical waste can be shipped off-site for treatment and disposal by companies specializing in neutralizing and safely disposing of toxic chemicals. Alternatively, the chemical waste can be transferred to larger tanks with an onboard separate discharge tube. Treatment and disposal can then take place on-site if a chemical neutralization system is available.

Modutek’s chemical carts help ensure employees are safe and waste can be disposed of effectively. The method of transfer of chemicals from the process tanks to the carts is safe and reduces spills. The carts themselves are designed for the safe containment of the chemicals. The DOT-approved chemical containers can be picked up and transported by specialized companies as needed to ensure safety and environmental regulations are followed.

Modutek Provides Equipment Solutions for Safely Handling Chemicals

As employee safety and safe handling and disposal of chemical waste become more of a regulatory priority in many jurisdictions, chemical carts can play an essential role in satisfying these requirements. In addition to chemical carts, Modutek designs and builds a complete line of chemical handling equipment to meet customer needs. Contact Modutek for a free consultation to discuss the specific chemical handling needs at your facility.

Why Chemical Delivery Systems Need Customizing for Your Facility

Why Chemical Delivery Systems Need Customizing for Your FacilityIn any industrial process involving chemicals, careful storage, delivery, and disposal of potentially hazardous substances is essential for both safety and efficiency. The chemicals need to be readily available in the correct amounts wherever required in the process. However, the storage of chemicals in the middle of a production line is unlikely to be practical or safe. This requires chemical delivery systems that can seamlessly fit into a facility without increasing risks or reducing productivity.

There is no single solution for chemical storage and delivery systems for industrial facility designers, and the design and placement of the chemical handling equipment will vary from facility to facility. The way chemicals are used directly impacts the system’s design, and the specific kinds of chemicals involved mean that safety aspects need to be considered case by case.

For example, if solvents are used specific materials with fire suppression features must be incorporated to meet safety requirements.  What’s more, all of this usually will need to fit within the restrictions of the existing building unless a new facility is built from scratch.

Bearing all this in mind, custom chemical delivery systems are the most effective way of solving these common problems, and three key points should be addressed right from the start of the design.

  1. Chemical Storage

Whether your process involves high volumes of a single chemical or mixtures of several different ones, they need to be stored in a way that combines complete safety with easy access. The storage units need to be accessible to receive deliveries from suppliers and be kept in an area where any potential leaks or spills can be contained.  They also need full accessibility for efficient delivery to the production line. Modutek can design chemical delivery systems that access chemical storage units up to 100 yards from their point of use. This keeps dangerous substances in controlled conditions far from their point of use to minimize risks without compromising productivity.

  1. Safe and Efficient Chemical Delivery

In most facilities, there’s much more to chemical delivery than simply pumping fluids from storage to the processing location. The chemicals need to be delivered in the exact quantities the process requires, in the correct sequence, and at the right time intervals.

There will also need to be a mechanism for handling delivery failure without risking damage to the facility or wasting the other materials involved in the process. In addition, the system should keep track of the quantities of each chemical used, streamlining stock management and replenishment. Each of these factors will be different depending on the details of the application, so a chemical delivery system designed by experienced experts is vital.

  1. Safe Chemical Disposal in Line with Regulations

Most chemical processes create waste that is still chemically active and often toxic, corrosive, or dangerous in other ways. Safe collection and disposal procedures are essential to protect the facility’s employees and meet all relevant environmental regulations and legal responsibilities. In most cases, residual chemicals must be neutralized on-site before disposal or collected and securely stored before transportation to a dedicated disposal facility. Depending on the specific chemicals involved, the collection and neutralization process can be hazardous, involving toxic vapors, corrosive liquids, and countless other potential dangers. Again, the choice of chemical-handling equipment used during disposal depends entirely on the range of chemicals involved and the risks they create.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the ideal solution for your facility, Modutek has the in-house expertise, experience, and engineering capability to produce customized chemical delivery systems to meet your specific requirements. Modutek also provides a full range of chemical neutralization, collection, and disposal equipment, to ensure your on-site systems meet regulatory requirements and operate reliably with maximum efficiency and safety. Contact Modutek for a free consultation to discuss your facility’s specific chemical delivery and handling requirements.


Why Acid Fume Scrubbers are Required for a Safe Work Environment

Why Acid Fume Scrubbers are Required for a Safe Work Environment When wet bench processes use acids to clean, strip, and etch silicon wafers, their exhaust air contains acid mist. This air can’t be released into the workspace because it can harm employees and corrode equipment. Acid fume scrubbers remove acid mist from the exhaust air. They neutralize the acid exhaust and deliver clean air that is safe to release into the outside environment. Modutek’s acid fume scrubbers can remove up to 99 percent of acid mist and are easy to operate. They are available in a wide range of capacities and can be integrated into the wet bench processing line.

Acid Fume Scrubbers Work by Neutralizing Acid Exhaust

Acid fume scrubbers pass the acid mist over a bed containing neutralizing chemicals. The chemicals absorb the acids in the exhaust, and the resulting chemical reaction changes the acid into a harmless solution. The air from the acid fume scrubber is clean, and the neutralized discharge liquid can be recycled. The operation of the acid fume scrubbers is reliable and safe.

To maximize the absorption of acid mist by the neutralizing chemicals, Modutek uses a high-surface packing material. Supplied by industry leader Lantec, the packing material is kept wet with a neutralizing solution. Because of the many protuberances and crevices in the packing material, more acid mist can be absorbed as they pass over the packed scrubber bed.

The high efficiency of Modutek’s scrubbers has to be matched with the proper flow of exhaust air. Modutek offers scrubbers with flow capacities from 500 to 25,000 CFM. This wide range of capacities is suitable for fabrication lines from the smallest research lab facility to large manufacturing plants. In addition to cleaning acids from the exhaust air of wet process stations, Modutek’s acid fume scrubbers can be used with other chemical handling equipment. Any process that produces an acid exhaust can benefit from using Modutek’s acid fume scrubbers.

Almost all acids are removed when the exhaust from the wet process station matches the scrubber’s flow capacity. Modutek can incorporate acid fume scrubbers within their wet bench stations to provide an integrated solution. Acid fume scrubbers provide a simple, low-cost way to neutralize acid exhausts from chemical processes.

Advantages and Benefits of Modutek’s Acid Fume Scrubbers

Modutek’s acid fume scrubbers are designed to provide customers with ease of use and low operating costs. The operator interface is intuitive and gives operators all the information they need with regard to pressures, flow, liquid levels, and discharge. Water use is low, and maintenance is designed to be easy and quick. There is a bottom drain, and the scrubbers have a double containment system to avoid leaks and reduce spills. Custom-built acid fume scrubbers are available to meet most acid exhaust neutralization requirements.

Design and construction deliver the following benefits:

  • Operators can quickly learn to use the simple interface and meet clean air targets
  • High air cleaning efficiency improves workplace safety
  • The wide range of capacities means almost any facility with acid mist exhausts can find a suitable scrubber model
  • Low operating costs and low total cost of ownership make Modutek’s acid fume scrubber an attractive choice

Modutek Provides Reliable Wet Bench and Chemical Handling Equipment

As a leader in wet bench technology and chemical handling equipment, Modutek helps support customers with their semiconductor manufacturing needs. In addition to acid fume scrubbers, Modutek offers a complete line of wet bench stations and equipment and can advise on new additions and upgrades to existing systems. Whether it’s a stand-alone acid fume scrubber, an integrated wet process station, or a complete production line, Modutek can provide reliable equipment to meet your requirements. Contact us for a free quote or consultation to discuss your specific requirements.

Chemical Handling for Wet Processing Equipment

Chemical Handling for Wet Processing EquipmentBecause wet processing of silicon wafers uses different types of chemicals, semiconductor manufacturing facilities need chemical handling equipment to store, deliver and dispose of the chemicals. A complete chemical handling system takes care of all aspects of chemical use and ensures chemicals are delivered to the process when and where needed.

For corrosive, toxic, or flammable chemicals, safe handling is critical. Most of the chemicals used in wet processing can’t be released into the environment without additional treatment. Neutralizing dangerous chemicals on site or storing them in safe containers until they can be transported to a treatment facility must be documented to comply with local regulations.

Since chemicals are often dangerous to the employees operating wet processing systems, the chemical handling equipment has to be designed to minimize spills and reduce employee exposure to chemicals and their fumes. A comprehensive chemical handling system can improve workplace safety, reduce spills and waste, and make chemical processes more efficient.

Chemical Delivery Systems Provides Your Process the Chemicals It Needs

Chemical delivery systems store the chemicals safely and then deliver the right quantities, mixtures, and concentrations directly to the production line. The amount of chemicals delivered has to be precise and repeatable. Successful wet processing often depends on the right mixture or concentration because etching, stripping, and cleaning can vary with the amount of chemicals in the bath. When processing batches, the amounts delivered must be precisely the same for each batch. With continuous processing, the chemicals delivered can’t vary over time.

Modutek has a complete range of chemical delivery equipment, from high volume systems for large continuous production lines to small batch operations. Chemicals can be stored remotely in large totes with a load cell interface or in 55-gallon drums near the wet process station. Modutek’s SolidWorks Simulation Professional and SolidWorks Flow Simulation applications can calculate the exact quantities of chemicals required, and the chemical delivery systems provide precisely the calculated amounts. These systems ensure that chemical handling and process repeatability are excellent.

Modutek’s Collection Systems Remove Used Chemicals from Processing Stations

Once a wet process such as cleaning, etching, or stripping is complete, the used chemicals must be removed from the process stations and collected. Chemicals can be stored in safe containers and sent to a company specializing in neutralizing and disposing of hazardous chemicals, or they may be neutralized on-site.

To collect the chemicals from processing stations, chemical lift stations can pump the chemical waste from the process tank to a storage container. Chemical carts, also called pump carts or collection carts, can be moved near the process tanks to empty smaller amounts of chemicals. Storage can range from small carboys to large collection tanks. For small volumes, waste chemicals can be pumped directly into a five-gallon DOT-approved carboy for subsequent shipping to an off-site neutralization facility.

Acid Neutralization Systems Ensure Compliance with Environmental Standards

Many wet process semiconductor manufacturing steps use strong acids in their process baths. The used acids must be disposed of safely without risks to employees, the general public, or the environment. Local regulations specify how acid waste must be treated to ensure that disposal meets these requirements.

As regulatory compliance becomes more complex, the costs of disposing of chemical waste off-site are increasing. Modutek can provide self-contained acid neutralization systems that are inexpensive to operate. These systems add neutralizing chemicals to the acid waste and track chemical use, waste pH, and discharge quantities. The systems can generate documentation for regulatory compliance and safely dispose of the neutralized waste.

Modutek Offers In-House Expertise for Selecting Chemical Handling Equipment

Modutek can help customers choose the right chemical handling equipment for their facility. In-house experts at Modutek can recommend equipment from a full line of chemical handling systems. Modutek can customize equipment for special applications and ensure that the systems meet customer needs. Contact Modutek today for t a free consultation to discuss your chemical handling needs.

How to Select an Acid Neutralization System to Reduce Chemical Disposal

When industrial processes such as semiconductor manufacturing use chemicals, the chemical waste needs to be treated before disposal. Chemical waste treatment can be handled on-site with an acid neutralization system or companies can use outside service providers to pick up the waste and properly dispose of it.

Modutek’s acid neutralization systems are designed for easy and flexible installation along with reliable operation and low chemical consumption. The systems make it easy for customers to avoid the costs of hiring disposal companies by treating chemical waste in-house. For many industrial processes, the chemical waste treated with an acid neutralization system is safe enough to drain into the local sewer system.

Continuous Flow Versus Batch Neutralization Systems

For most large industrial operations, a continuous flow acid neutralization system is the best solution. The waste chemicals from a process are produced continuously and they are automatically treated. A continuous flow of 5 to 100 gallons per minute (GPM) can be neutralized. Smaller industrial facilities often operate in batch mode where small quantities of used chemicals need to be disposed of. Modutek’s acid neutralization systems treat and neutralize chemicals using the continuous flow method.

Flexible Installation Means Modutek Systems Are Suited for Many Different Applications

To reduce chemical disposal via an outside service provider, an in-house neutralization system has to be flexible and easy to install. Cost-effective systems have to feature low chemical consumption for complete neutralization allowing disposal into a local sewer. Modutek’s acid neutralization systems satisfy these requirements and can save customers money by reducing chemical disposal costs.

Additional installation features for various service applications include the following:

  • Indoor or outdoor installation
  • Working volume up 4000 gallons
  • 110% Secondary containment tank for extra safety
  • Final discharge sample tank with pH probe and chart recorder for compliance purposes
  • Acidic or alkaline chemical waste treatment in two or three stages
  • Fully automatic operation with a touch screen monitor
  • Unitized construction with larger systems skid-mounted
  • Microprocessor-based pH controls with a comprehensive alarm system

Modutek’s acid neutralization systems are designed to fit into existing process lines with just a plumbing connection and electrical hookup. Once installed, the systems offer problem-free chemical waste neutralization and disposal.

Sensors, Meters, and Automation Help with Ease of Operation

Modutek acid neutralization systems are designed to work reliably in fully automated mode while sensing chemical waste composition and triggering alarms when key variables show abnormal values. Electronic chemical metering pumps supply the correct amounts of neutralizing chemicals while Signet pH probes and transmitters monitor the composition of the chemical waste. Signet paddle wheel flow sensors and signet 9900 flow meters/totalizers send their signals back to a PLC that controls alarms. The systems are designed to work independently while providing readouts for operators tracking the process. Chemical use, discharge pH, overall flow, and triggered alarms are recorded. Operators can make sure that discharged waste stays within the environmental regulatory framework and can use the recorded data to demonstrate compliance with proscribed values.

Modutek’s Expertise in Chemical Processing and Neutralization

By working closely with customers and industry partners, Modutek provides continuous innovative products to meet customer needs. Modutek has its own in-house expertise to evaluate specific applications and make recommendations. After identifying process requirements, Modutek can make suggestions and offer systems from its complete line of chemical handling equipment. For a free quote or consultation to discuss your chemical processing and neutralization requirements contact Modutek at 866-803-1533 or email

Designing Chemical Delivery Systems to Meet Facility Requirements

Because semiconductor manufacturing facilities use a variety of chemicals to clean, etch and process silicon wafers, chemical delivery systems are critical for ensuring that operations run smoothly. Chemical handling equipment delivers or collects the required chemicals for the safe disposal of the chemical waste. Effective chemical delivery systems remove concerns about the availability and correct mixture of process chemicals and allow operators to focus on issues directly affecting silicon wafer fabrication, such as wafer cleaning, etch rates, and particle contamination. When chemical delivery systems exactly meet facility requirements, a focus on the fabrication processes lets operators optimize production and helps improve output.

Adapting Receiving and Storage of Chemicals to Facility Requirements

Chemical delivery depends on how many different chemicals a facility requires and the volume of the chemicals used. Chemical characteristics such as toxicity also have to be considered. For facilities using a variety of chemicals in varying quantities, a special area may be needed to centralize reception and storage functions.

For small volumes of chemicals, a standard drum located near the process may be the most convenient. For large volumes, receiving and storing chemical totes monitored with a load cell to track chemical use could be the best solution. For dangerous chemicals, containment of possible leaks and special safety measures may be required to ensure compliance with environmental and safety regulations. A competent manufacturer of chemical delivery and storage systems can evaluate these factors and make corresponding recommendations.

Ensuring Timely and Reliable Delivery of Chemicals to the Process

The key function of chemical delivery systems is to ensure that the required chemicals are provided in precise amounts as needed for the process. Silicon wafer fabrication steps clean and etch wafers with mixtures of chemicals that have to be delivered to process tanks. Each step requires precise quantities of chemicals delivered in sequence and at timed or process-dependent intervals. Each facility has different process steps and different chemical delivery requirements. A well-designed chemical delivery system will reliably provide exactly the right chemical in the specified volume at the correct time.

Collecting and Disposing of Used Chemicals Safely

Once a process step is complete, the chemical mixture that remains is often still chemically active, toxic and dangerous. The wafers will have been removed from the chemical bath and the used chemicals need to be safely treated or collected and disposed. For example, acids used in wafer etching are hazardous for operators, harmful for the environment and even the vapors may be dangerous.

Disposal of chemical waste has to be in accordance with local safety and environmental regulations. The chemical system can either drain the chemical waste and send it to an on-site chemical neutralization system for treatment, or to storage in a chemical collection container. Used chemicals in chemical collection containers can be picked up by service providers that specialize in chemical disposal. In either case, the chemical handling has to be carried out safely while containing any leaks or spills.

Modutek’s Expertise with Chemical Delivery Systems

Modutek has extensive experience designing and building customized chemical delivery systems. With in-house expertise in designing and supplying a full line of chemical handling equipment and systems, Modutek can evaluate a facility’s chemical delivery needs and make corresponding recommendations. If you need guidance on selecting the right chemical handling equipment and systems for your facility, contact Modutek for a free consultation.

Why Chemical Collection Carts are Needed for Chemical Handling

When high-volume chemical delivery systems are not needed because of small production volumes, chemical collection carts can provide safe chemical handling. Also known as chemical delivery carts or chemical pump carts depending on their role, these chemical carts can safely deliver chemicals to the process and remove them for disposal.

Safe handling of aggressive chemicals is especially important for small facilities that can benefit from the use of chemical collection carts. Labs, research centers and universities often have limited space and lack chemical treatment capability. Using chemical collection carts for the removal of used chemicals and safely delivering them to a specialized chemical treatment provider means small production sites don’t have to worry about adhering to disposal regulations.

Modutek’s Chemical Cart Characteristics and Features

Modutek’s chemical carts are designed for safety, ease of use, and flexibility. The incorporated on-cart holding tank can vary from 5 to 25 gallons and the carts can hold a 55-gallon drum in an optional configuration. The tanks are mounted on swivel casters with brakes and measure 18 inches wide, 36 inches long, and approximately 42 inches high.

With a three-eighths inch pneumatic pump and all-pneumatic operation, no electrical connection is required. Construction is white polypropylene with an all-Teflon fluid path and a stainless-steel option is available for solvent applications. The carts feature independent suction and discharge tubes and there is a high-level sensor with a pump interlock in the holding tank.

Operation of the carts for the dispensing of solvents, acids, or bases and the removal of waste chemicals is straightforward. The suction tube transfers chemicals from an external tank to the holding tank while the discharge tube drains holding tank chemicals and transfers them to an external container. A single pump cart can be used for multiple applications.

Chemical Collection Carts Are a Safe Way of Handling Chemicals

While still requiring manual operation, chemical pump carts can reduce the possibility of spills and accidents. With the use of carts, the transfer of chemicals between containers takes place in a controlled and structured fashion. Aggressive chemicals can be kept at a distance from the operators and workplace safety increases.

In normal use, the pump cart can be rolled up to the chemical processing station and can transfer the required chemicals. For chemical removal and disposal, for example, the suction tube of the cart can transfer the waste chemicals from the process tank to the cart holding tank. The cart can then be rolled out for chemical disposal.

Facilities that use chemicals for their production lines may have their own neutralization and disposal systems, but smaller facilities including universities and research labs often outsource chemical neutralization and disposal to specialized service providers. If the manufacturing facility neutralizes its own waste chemicals, the pump cart can transfer the collected waste from the holding tank into the neutralizing and disposal system. If an external service provider is used for chemical disposal, Modutek’s carts make it easy to ship the containers holding the waste.

The holding tanks on Modutek’s carts feature double containment for extra safety. If the waste chemicals are not neutralized on site, they are stored in a Department of Transport (DOT) approved container for pickup by the specialized chemical processing company. In this case, no in-house chemical neutralization processing is required.

Modutek designs and builds its own systems and equipment in-house. This means that the company can easily customize chemical collection carts to meet special customer requirements. Modutek works closely with customers to identify what they need and works and develops systems and equipment to meet their specific requirements. Contact Modutek for a free consultation and quote on equipment needed to support your chemical processing and disposal needs.

How On-Site Acid Neutralization Systems Provide Safe Chemical Disposal

How On-Site Acid Neutralization Systems Provide Safe Chemical DisposalWhen the right acid neutralization system is chosen, it can automatically add the required neutralizing chemicals to acid waste left over after a semiconductor manufacturing process step. Ideally such a system should use the least amount of chemicals while ensuring adequate neutralization of waste to comply with environmental standards. The system has to have enough capacity to handle the waste chemical flow and it must operate reliably, protecting against spills and documenting chemical use and discharge. With overall environmental standards tightening and local regulations becoming more stringent, semiconductor manufacturers need acid neutralization systems that provide safe and reliable disposal of chemical waste.

How to Choose Continuous Flow or Batch Acid Neutralization Systems

Acid neutralization systems can operate on a continuous basis or can neutralize individual batches of waste chemicals. For mass production of semiconductor parts, fabrication lines operate over extended periods, using fixed amounts of chemicals and producing uniform quantities of waste.

For these large-scale operations, a continuous flow acid neutralization system is the best choice. Because the nature of the waste chemicals is known and remains consistent over time, the neutralization process can add fixed amounts of low-pH chemicals to continuously neutralize the waste flow. Neutralization can be fine-tuned because the overall process doesn’t change.

Batch neutralization systems are better suited for the production of small quantities of semiconductor products. Typical applications are prototype production, production of small quantities for testing or the manufacture of special components. For these operations, the waste chemicals have to be neutralized in small volumes and each process is different. The batch acid neutralization system has to measure the pH of the waste chemicals, and determine what low-pH additions are appropriate. The neutralization is different for each batch as is each outflow.

Automation Can Play a Key Role in Effective Acid Neutralization Systems

Automated acid neutralization systems can help reduce chemical use, ensure regulatory compliance and reduce spills. The system automatically adds the required chemicals to the waste solution, tracks chemical use, measures outflow pH and records the results. Workplace safety is increased and human error is reduced. The records of chemical use and outflow pH can demonstrate that environmental standards are met.

Automating continuous flow systems is comparatively easy because the process parameters are known and they don’t change. The complete automation of batch neutralization systems can be challenging because key variables as well as the chemicals involved can vary from batch to batch.

For a continuous flow chemical acid neutralization system, the acid to be neutralized and the low-pH chemical to be used are known. The automation only has to add the required amount of neutralizing chemical on a continuous basis and record the resultant pH. For slight variations, a control loop can adjust the amount of neutralizing chemical to achieve the required output pH.

A fully automated batch neutralization system first has to measure the batch pH and add an amount of low-pH neutralizer. Depending on the chemicals involved, the automated system may have to add different neutralizing chemicals in several stages to achieve the required output. The automated system is complicated to program and difficult to set up. For batch neutralization systems, operator involvement to select the type of neutralization required can simplify the operation of the automated system and make it more effective.

Modutek Can Help Select the Right Acid Neutralization System

Modutek has a full line of chemical handling equipment, including acid neutralization systems. The company works closely with customers to determine their needs and can customize systems to meet special requirements. Once delivered, Modutek makes sure that the acid neutralization systems operate as specified and customers are completely satisfied. Contact Modutek for a free consultation to discuss the chemical disposal requirements needed at your facility.