How On-Site Acid Neutralization Systems Provide Safe Chemical Disposal

When 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.

Using Acid Fume Scrubbers to Maintain a Clean Work Environment

When semiconductor manufacturing process steps include etching or cleaning with acids, the process station exhaust can be harmful. Acid droplets in the discharge air can create health risks for workers and can corrode equipment. Worker safety standards and more stringent environmental regulations may set limits on the permissible acid droplet concentration.

To address these issues, semiconductor manufacturers need acid fume scrubbers to remove and neutralize acid droplets in the process discharge air. Once the acidic mist is passed through the scrubbers, the output air is clean enough to be discharged into the workspace or outside. Employees can work in a clean and safe work space and the outside environment is not contaminated with acid.

Acid Fume Scrubbers Can Remove up to 99 Percent of Acid Mist

Acid fume scrubbers work by passing the acid mist over a wet bed made up of special, large surface packing material. The scrubber has to be able to handle the flow volume from the process exhaust. Modutek’s scrubbers can remove up to 99% of acid mist and are available in sizes ranging from 500 to 25,000 CFM. This capacity range will satisfy the flow requirements from the smallest to the largest process volumes.

Modutek’s acid fume scrubbers use a high surface area packing material made by industry leader Lantec. The packing material is kept wet with a solution containing acid neutralizing chemicals. As the acid mist passes over the surface of the wet packing material, the acid droplets dissolve in the neutralizing solution. The acid droplets are almost completely removed from the process discharge air, resulting in a clean and non-corrosive air output. The acid in the neutralizing solution is rendered harmless and the solution can be discharged safely.

When Modutek’s high-efficiency acid fume scrubbers are used with the right flow capacity, the corrosive air output from wet process manufacturing stations can made safe for release into the work environment. This is especially important for semiconductor manufacturing operations that rely on a clean, particle-free process space.

Advantages of Modutek’s Fume Scrubbers

Modutek has built its fume scrubbers for a low total cost of ownership combined with design flexibility and ease of operation. The high efficiency resulting from careful design and the use of the Lantec packing material means that a higher percentage of acid fumes are removed and the resulting output air is cleaner and safer. The neutralizing solution from the packing material is recycled, reducing the use of water. A bottom drain makes maintenance easier and the scrubbers have a double containment system for extra safety.

The operator interface gives operators all the information they need for effective operation of the scrubbers. Pressure gauges and flow meters allow operators to get a complete picture of scrubber operation while water level indicators with discharge metering give operators control of neutralizing solution discharge. In addition to wet process station applications, acid fume scrubbers can be used with other chemical handling equipment Modutek offers to provide a safe working environment.

Benefits from Using Modutek Acid Fume Scrubbers

Modutek’s acid fume scrubbers allow facility managers to maintain a clean and safe work environment and neutralize acidic droplets that are discharged from wet process semiconductor manufacturing stations. Even when the use of fume scrubbers is not mandated by worker safety standards or environmental regulations, it often makes sense to install the scrubbers for the many benefits they provide. Benefits can include the following:

  • The high acid mist removal rate improves workplace air quality and results in higher employee job satisfaction.
  • Ease of use means operators don’t need extensive training and can reliably achieve operational targets.
  • Low cost of operation and maintenance allows for a quick return on investment.
  • The flexible design and wide range of capacities ensure that there is a system suitable for most applications.

Based on the needs of your facility Modutek can recommend specific acid fume scrubbers from its complete product line to ensure the installed unit meets application requirements.

How Chemical Carts Provide Safe Handling and Disposal of Chemicals

How Chemical Carts Provide Safe Handling and Disposal of ChemicalsChemical handling equipment is an important part of a semiconductor manufacturing operation because the aggressive chemicals used in etching and cleaning semiconductor wafers have to be stored, delivered to the process, and disposed of safely. Chemical carts, also referred to as chemical pump carts or chemical collection carts, are a convenient way to remove waste chemicals from process tanks and ready them for disposal. These carts are compact units that can be rolled up to the processing line to pump out processing tank contents. Carts have to be designed for safe pumping and containment of the chemicals and for moving them to a safe location for further treatment.

Chemical Cart Design Features

Modutek’s chemical carts allow operators to quickly remove used chemicals from a process line and let the process continue to the next step with a minimum of delay. The carts are easily rolled up to the process tank that contains the used chemicals and operators can safely transfer even toxic or corrosive chemicals. Modutek’s chemical carts have the following features:

  • Compact profile at 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 42 inches high
  • Made of white polypropylene resistant against acids; also available in stainless steel for solvent applications
  • Mounted on swivel casters that can be locked
  • Suction wand for emptying process tanks
  • Independent discharge tube for transfer of waste chemicals to a neutralization system
  • Pneumatic pump, three-eighths inch
  • On-cart five-gallon chemical tank with double containment that is Department of Transport approved
  • High-level sensor interlocked with pump for additional safety
  • All-Teflon piping

Once operators have pumped waste chemicals into the cart tank, the cart can be rolled out to a neutralization area or the waste can be shipped off-site for neutralization and disposal by a specialized company. In either case, the amount of chemicals and the treatment are recorded to ensure compliance with local environmental regulations.

Chemical Handling Equipment Increases Workplace Safety

Chemical handling equipment such as chemical carts allows operators to receive, store, deliver and discharge dangerous chemicals safely. Well-designed chemical handling equipment can reduce waste, deliver accurate dosages to the process and track chemical use. Containment of spills is an important safety and environmental issue that can be addressed by good design practices. Modutek’s extensive experience with wet process technology and the acids used to ensure that the company’s chemical handling systems operate in a completely safe and reliable manner.

Chemical Handling Functions Require Different Types of Equipment

While chemical carts used for the disposal of used chemicals fulfill one particular role, similar units can take on other functions. Chemical delivery systems handle chemical reception, storage, and delivery to the process. They can include remote bulk storage such as in large tote chemical containers that can supply high volumes of chemicals or 55-gallon drums located at the process. Chemical delivery systems can include software for dosage control and software can control the mixing of chemicals as well.

Chemical lift stations can fulfill a role similar to chemical carts but the units are permanently installed. They are sometimes located behind the wet process station they are serving, but Modutek has developed a space-saving design that allows an integration of the lift station in the process line. When chemical waste or waste water enters the lift station tank, the liquids are pumped to a neutralization area for further treatment.

Modutek’s product line of chemical handling equipment allows manufacturers to make their workplaces safer and save money. Chemical carts and other chemical handling equipment can be customized in terms of flow, capacity, and functionality to respond exactly to customer needs. Modutek can leverage its experience in semiconductor manufacturing equipment to help customers choose the right systems and ensure that the chosen systems perform as needed.

Selecting Chemical Handling Equipment for Solvents and Acids

When chemicals are used in a manufacturing process, chemical handling systems are Selecting Chemical Handling Equipment for Solvents and Acidscritical for accurate chemical delivery to the process equipment and the safe disposal of the chemical waste. Effective chemical handling systems are especially important for solvents and acids because of the corrosive nature and the dangers of unsafe handling of these chemicals. Finding the right chemical handling system for a manufacturing facility is often challenging because the applicable regulations have to be followed and worker safety has to be guaranteed. A competent manufacturer with extensive experience in chemical handling and a proven track record in chemical handling equipment can advise customers of the most appropriate system for their specific application.

Chemical Handling Equipment Functions and Features

Chemical handling equipment ensures the safe acquisition, use and disposal of hazardous chemicals used in manufacturing. Essential functions include the following:

  • Delivery: Chemicals have to be delivered to the process equipment in the quantities, mixtures and concentrations required. This requires accurate repeatability. We build all our delivery systems around your chemical drums. This includes single or double drums requirements.
  • Collection: Collection of hazardous chemicals takes place in a specially secured cabinet with containment and leak detection capabilities. Modutek’s systems are designed for use with Department of Transportation (DOT) approved drums for direct shipment for disposal.
  • Neutralization: This option is also available if chemical disposal becomes too expensive. Once chemical is neutralized properly chemicals can than drain directly to your main drain.

In addition to chemical handling equipment functionality, specific manufacturing applications may benefit from features that increase operational safety, reduce costs or improve manufacturing operations. For expensive chemicals, features that reduce chemical waste are important. Chemical handling equipment dealing with dangerous chemicals may have to include extra operator safety protections. Dangerous chemical waste is best neutralized next to the manufacturing process, but if that’s not possible, chemical collection systems can safely hold chemicals that will later be transported for off-site treatment. Chemical handling equipment often has to be customized to address the functions needed and make sure the required features are in place.

Modutek’s Line of Chemical Handling Equipment Can Meet Manufacturing Needs

Modutek can offer a complete line of chemical handling equipment that can customized for specific manufacturing needs. Modutek’s equipment line includes the following:

  • Acid neutralization systems. These compact systems add neutralizing chemicals to acid or alkaline waste. They feature low operating costs and either batch or continuous operation.
  • Chemical delivery systems. Chemicals are delivered to the process in exact quantities and at the right times. These systems reduce chemical waste and eliminate operator errors that cause spills.
  • Chemical lift stations. These stations pump chemicals directly from the process to the neutralization area. They can be incorporated into the process line and feature flow capacity adapted to process requirements.
  • Chemical collection systems. Chemicals are collected and stored locally near the process or remotely in large collection tanks. In the absence of neutralization, storage can be sized to process requirements and designed to permit transportation of the containers for off-site treatment.

Modutek’s chemical handling equipment is designed to ensure safe and precise handling of hazardous chemicals. Chemical use is lower due to reduced waste and workplace safety is increased. Neutralization and disposal of hazardous chemicals can be carried out in accordance with regulations and can be documented to demonstrate compliance. Modutek can offer solutions for the chemical handling needs of varied manufacturing operations and the company’s experience in the field and its in-house expertise lets it customize the equipment exactly as needed. Contact Modutek for a free consultation or quote on equipment for your specific manufacturing requirements.

Systems That Support Chemical Delivery and Disposal Requirements

Systems that Support Chemical Delivery and Disposal RequirementsWhen corrosive chemicals are used by manufacturers and research centers, they have to be stored safely, delivered to the process in precise quantities and neutralized prior to disposal. Chemical delivery systems that manage the use and disposal of chemicals have to be designed for high reliability and for compliance with local environmental regulations. Even for chemicals that are not hazardous, these systems can reduce waste and improve productivity. The varied requirements for chemical handling systems that fulfill these functions mean that a high degree of customization is necessary. Modutek offers a complete line of chemical handling products that support chemical delivery and disposal with extensive customization.

How Chemical Delivery Systems Improve Manufacturing Facility Performance

Effective chemical delivery systems make sure that chemicals are tracked from reception through storage to use in the manufacturing process. Low storage volume alarms let operators place orders to ensure a continuous supply. Bulk storage can take place in a separate storage area while smaller quantities can be stored close to the process. Sometimes chemicals have to be mixed or different chemicals added to the process at different times. Both storage and delivery to the process can be automated to varying degrees. Double containment and leak detection may be required. Such chemical delivery systems provide the following benefits:

  • Better process flow. Tracking chemical use and making sure there is enough supply lets the manufacturing process run more smoothly with a constant chemical consumption.
  • Higher output quality. Precise dosage and excellent repeatability results in reliable product quality over time.
  • Reduced waste. Chemical tracking, leak detection and reduced operator error mean there is less chemical waste.
  • Improved workplace safety. When operators don’t have to handle chemicals directly, they are less exposed to hazardous substances and the workplace becomes safer.

As a result of these benefits, chemical delivery systems can reduce costs and improve overall manufacturing and research facility performance.

How Chemical Disposal Systems Ensure Safety and Regulatory Compliance

When chemical disposal systems work properly, they ensure that all chemical waste is collected and disposed of safely in accordance with environmental regulations. Chemical disposal requires the use of Department of Transportation (DOT) approved containers. DOT approved containers provide added safety to prevent leaks during handling and transportation.

Modutek offers different chemical collection and disposal systems which include mobile chemical carts as well as larger volume chemical collection systems. Chemical carts (sometimes called chemical pump carts, chemical collection carts or chemical disposal carts) are units that can be easily rolled up to a process station to pump used chemicals into the DOT approved container within the cart. Modutek also provides chemical collection systems from 5 gallon carboy DOT approved containers to larger collection tanks and collection tank farms to support higher volume requirements. These systems incorporate the use of software controls to monitor chemical disposal levels, leak detection and data logging to keep your facility in continuous operation. With Modutek’s chemical collection systems and software interface there is no down time due to the “fill/empty” control system. Since Modutek designs all their Chemical Collection and Disposal Systems in house all the software and equipment is engineered and manufactured to meet a customer’s specific requirements.

Reliable Systems Customized for Volume, Process and Facility

Modutek has the experience and in-house expertise to customize all chemical handling systems for chemical delivery and disposal as needed. Factors such as chemical volumes used, types of chemical processes and facility layout all influence the system design. The degree of automation desired and the local regulatory environment are always different. Chemical delivery and disposal systems have to be adapted to meet these different requirements. Since Modutek builds its own systems, the company can adapt standard designs and automation to satisfy the unique needs of its customers. Contact Modutek for a free consultation to determine the right chemical delivery and disposal equipment that is needed to meet your requirements.

How Chemical Carts Support Chemical Disposal

How Chemical Carts Support Chemical DisposalWhen difficulties associated with chemical disposal and regulatory compliance increase, it’s time to think about either removing used chemicals for off-site disposal or using dedicated equipment for disposal according to official guidelines. Chemical carts can be rolled over to process stations and can pump used chemicals from the process tanks to a container on the cart. The used chemicals can then be turned over to a disposal company or can be neutralized and treated in an onsite facility. The manufacturing process can continue with a fresh batch of chemicals while documentation and handling of the used chemicals can be carried out according to local regulations.

Chemical Carts Remove Chemicals Quickly and Safely

Once the chemicals for a process step have fulfilled their function and the process step is complete, the used chemicals have to be drained from the process tank so that the next process batch can begin. The use of chemical handling equipment such as pump carts is a flexible solution allowing operators to remove used chemicals from the process tanks for different process steps.

An operator can roll the chemical pump cart to the tank that contains the used chemicals. A suction wand allows the operator to pump the chemicals out of the process tank. The used chemicals are pumped into a dedicated storage tank on the chemical pump cart and the cart can then be rolled out to a designated disposal area.

Depending on whether the company handles chemical neutralization and disposal in house or not, the chemicals can be transferred to a disposal system or turned over to an external chemical disposal specialist. In either case, documentation for the handling of chemicals according to local laws and regulations can be prepared before final disposal.

Modutek’s Chemical Carts Feature Ease of Use and Enhanced Safety

At 36″ long x 18″ wide x 42″ tall, Modutek’s chemical pump carts are compact and easy to roll out. Made of white polypropylene, the carts run on swivel casters with brakes and feature independent suction and discharge tubes. Pumping is with a 3/8th inch pneumatic pump. The five gallon chemical tank on the cart has a double containment system and is DOT (Department of Transportation) approved. A high level sensor on the tank is interlocked with the pump for additional safety. The plumbing is all Teflon and each cart can handle multiple applications.

As an option, chemical carts can be delivered in a stainless steel design for solvent applications. Other options include a pressure interlock safety switch, a large capacity tank and a double dump design. Modutek can help customers decide on the options they need and make sure that the chemical pump carts meet their requirements.

Modutek’s Chemical Handling Products Fulfill Manufacturing and Research Facility Needs

Modutek manufactures a complete line of chemical handling equipment to meet the needs of manufacturing plants and research facilities. In addition to chemical carts, Modutek’s chemical handling systems include chemical delivery systems, chemical collection systems and chemical lift stations. The systems can store chemicals, deliver them to process stations and remove them to neutralization areas. The chemical handling equipment is designed to interface with existing or new manufacturing lines and can be customized for almost any application. For example, storage in large tote containers with a load cell interface reduces drum changes and the lift station functions can be incorporated into a process station in a space-saving design. Throughout the design process, Modutek works closely with customers to identify production line issues and develop effective solutions. The company prioritizes customer satisfaction and delivers equipment of the highest quality with low operating costs and a low total cost of ownership. Contact Modutek for a free consultation or quote on selecting the right chemical handling equipment to meet your specific requirements.

Choosing an Acid Neutralization System to Safely Handle Chemical Disposal

Choosing an Acid Neutralization System to Safely Handle Chemical DisposalWet process semiconductor manufacturing lines use aggressive chemicals to clean and etch silicon wafers. When a cleaning or etching step is complete, the remaining chemicals have to be disposed of safely. Low pH acids such as hydrochloric acid have to be neutralized with high pH chemicals so that the pH of the mixture approaches the neutral value of seven. The acid neutralization can be carried out continuously or in batches and either process can be fully automated. Ideally an acid neutralization system acts reliably with a minimum of supervision and keeps records of chemical use and discharge to demonstrate compliance with environmental regulations.

Continuous Flow and Batch Neutralization Systems Fulfill Different Requirements

The choice of an acid neutralization system reflects the type of semiconductor manufacturing that takes place. Large scale continuous manufacturing lines produce a continuous flow of waste chemicals. The composition of the flow and its volume changes little and can be analyzed in detail. A continuous flow acid neutralization system can then be designed to automatically and reliably neutralize the out flow. Because small changes can easily be detected and the dosages of neutralizing chemicals can be automatically adjusted, the automation required for such a system is easily set up. The automated continuous flow acid neutralization system can keep records of its neutralization activity and the volume and pH of the waste flow.

The neutralization of waste chemicals used in batch manufacturing is usually more complicated. Batch manufacturing is used for prototypes, one-of-a-king components and small quantities of special parts. Each batch can be different and it makes sense to use a batch acid neutralization system for these processes.

Instead of adjusting chemical dosages of an established process as in the continuous flow systems, batch neutralization systems have to measure the pH of the waste chemicals and add specific neutralizers. Several stages of neutralization may be required before the discharge is acceptable. Once the neutralization process is finalized, the sequence can be fully automated and can run as the batch is processed.

Other Considerations When Choosing an Acid Neutralization System

Once the choice of continuous flow or batch system is made, the acid neutralization system has to fulfill a few basic requirements. The system capacity has to be sufficient for the proposed application, with capacities ranging from a few gallons to hundreds of gallons per minute. The system can be located indoors if there is space but it can also be designed for outdoor operation. If automated, the exact automatic functions have to be programmed and set up. Finally the monitoring and record-keeping functions have to be determined.

Operational characteristics have to be considered as well. If the system is fully automated, it may run without supervision but alarms will be required for situations such as low chemical supply or a pH level outside permissible limits. Recording of neutralization process parameters can be digital, with a log, or on a chart recorder. Containment of spills is important and depends on whether the installation is indoors or outdoors. Spill detection has to be incorporated into the alarm system and the whole operation has to comply with environmental regulations.

Modutek Can Supply Acid Neutralization Systems to Meet Customer Needs

Included in Modutek’s complete line of wet process equipment are compact acid neutralization systems that can be customized to meet specific needs. Systems can be designed to fit into the space available at a customer’s facility and Modutek can help select suitable automation and operating characteristics. The Modutek acid neutralization systems operate reliably to keep waste discharge parameters close to specified values and a digital chart recorder documents compliance with discharge regulations.

Chemical Delivery Systems Designed to Meet Facility Requirements

Different semiconductor manufacturing facilities or other users of chemicals have varying needs. The chemical delivery requirements of large chip producers differ from those of small fabricators, custom shops or research facilities. Chemical delivery system capacity, equipment layout, the number of different chemicals and the specifications for quality, accuracy and quantity may all vary, depending on the facility and the application. Suppliers of chemical delivery systems need to be able to customize their equipment to satisfy the specific requirements of different facilities. Suppliers who manufacture their own equipment in house are best able to adapt their standard products to the needs of their customers more easily than those using third party manufacturers.

Storage, Delivery and Disposal Are Key System Functions

The operation of chemical delivery systems can be divided into storage, delivery and disposal functions. These functions are impacted by chemical volumes, number of chemicals and facility layout. For operations that need a large volume of chemicals, storage and delivery options are going to be different than for small operations. The space and equipment layout at a facility also determines how the key functions are executed. A competent supplier has to be able to evaluate all the relevant factors and requirements before designing and building the custom system.

For example, for large volumes of chemical usage, storage space for chemical totes and a load cell interface for tracking chemical use are required. If small volumes of chemical are used, storage can fit into small spaces close to the point of use. Similarly, disposal differs according to the volume of waste chemical generated. Waste liquids can be neutralized close to where the waste is generated or the waste liquids can be piped away for remote neutralization and disposal.

How Chemicals Are Used Impacts System Design

A facility that uses large volumes of a few chemicals will need only very simple controls while a production line that spikes with some chemicals and mixes others will require complex controls with high precision. Requirements for repeatability, accuracy and quality control all come into the specifications for the design and configuration of the system. Sometimes manual open loop controls are adequate but for other facilities fast, closed loop automation may be critical. Software, modeling and robotics are expensive and may not be required for some applications but may be necessary for others. The chemical delivery system provided to a facility needs to incorporate each of these specific requirements.

Safe Operation Depends on the Chemicals Used

While operator safety is paramount, the actual safety features required for an installation depend on the chemicals used. Non-hazardous chemicals may not need any special safety measures while highly inflammable solvents may require explosion-proof designs with the relevant National Electrical Code (NEC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) certifications.

Safety measures for hazardous chemicals can include operational strategies to reduce worker exposure. For some applications, a degree of automation up to fully automatic systems can increase safety and reduce operator error. For others, less expensive solutions can include semi-automatic or manual systems with corresponding safety interlocks and automatic shut-down for dangerous conditions. In each case, the specific operating characteristics of the chemical delivery system have to be evaluated and a custom solution has to be designed and installed.

Modutek Can Customize Chemical Delivery Systems

Modutek designs and builds their own equipment down to programming their own software for chemical dosage and for automation. With extensive experience in the field of chemical delivery systems and in house design and manufacturing expertise, Modutek can customize their systems to the extent required. The resulting systems are safe to operate and they deliver top performance while responding exactly to customer needs. If you need a chemical delivery system for your facility, contact Modutek for a free consultation or quote.

Selecting the Right Acid Neutralization System for Your Application

Acid neutralization systems treat the effluent from semiconductor wet process fabrication facilities and other industrial processes to make it safe for release into the environment. The right system for an application will add alkaline chemicals to the acidic solution and raise the pH close to the neutral level of 7 while recording process data to ensure regulatory compliance.

Depending on the type of operation, an acid neutralization system can be selected that either works continuously or in batches. Continuous flow systems treat large volumes of effluent that have a consistent composition and work best with waste water that doesn’t require complex treatment. Batch neutralization systems are often applied to smaller volumes that are difficult to treat. Each kind of system can benefit from full automation to carry out the neutralization process precisely and keep accurate records.

How Acid Neutralization Systems Work

Because releasing untreated acidic waste water is environmentally hazardous and pollutes water ways, governments have imposed regulations on the producers of industrial waste. An acid neutralization system treats and measures the acidity of waste water as it exits the production line. Depending on the process, a suitable neutralizing chemical is added to reduce the acidity. Sensors verify that the neutralization process has reduced the pH of the waste water to a level in keeping with the applicable regulations and the liquid can then be released.

For compliance purposes, keeping a record of treatment and release is extremely important. To enforce the regulations, authorities will often require proof that the prescribed pH levels were maintained at all times. A print-out from a fully automated system showing the process steps that were carried out and the corresponding pH values can be valuable in proving that a company is not the source of any pollution that has been found.

Continuous Flow Neutralization Systems

High volume production lines produce the same components continuously using the same process and produce a constant flow of effluent that varies comparatively little in its composition. These applications are ideally suited to continuous flow acid neutralization systems because the continuous addition of neutralizing chemicals with only a slight variation can easily be controlled and monitored.

The flow can be from a few to several hundred gallons per minute, and once the neutralization requirements are known, the amounts of neutralizing chemicals required can be calculated. The acid neutralization system monitors the input, makes small adjustments to the quantities of neutralizing chemicals to respond to process changes, and monitors the output for compliance with regulations. A record of discharges and their characteristics is available in the form of a digital chart recorder.

Batch Neutralization Systems

In the production of prototypes, the manufacture of small quantities of specialized components and the use of processes that consist of discrete, independent steps produce waste water in small batches that can best be processed by batch neutralization systems. These batches of waste chemicals often need extensive treatment and may require different neutralizing chemicals to meet the allowed discharge pH levels.

Depending on the process and the required neutralizing chemicals, batch neutralization systems can take pH readings, add the calculated chemical doses and then verify that the pH has increased to an acceptable level. In terms of automation and record keeping, the same considerations apply as for continuous flow neutralization systems.

Modutek’s Acid Neutralization Systems

Modutek offers fully automated acid neutralization systems in batch neutralization or continuous flow designs. The compact systems can be customized for specific applications and to fit into an available space. Modutek’s acid neutralization system can be placed indoors or outdoors and can handle flows from 5 to 500 gallons per minute. The microprocessor pH control delivers precise doses of neutralizing chemicals and provides accurate records on a digital chart recorder to prove seamless compliance with discharge regulations. Contact Modutek for a free quote or consultation to discuss your application and acid neutralization requirements.

How Chemical Delivery Systems Are Customized for Specific Applications

Many types of industrial plants and research centers use chemicals in their operations and need systems that can handle these often dangerous substances effectively. The chemical delivery system has to be able to store the chemicals, deliver them to the point of use and handle disposal. Depending on the application, chemical mixing and a degree of automation may also be required. Key characteristics of chemical delivery systems include the following:

  • Reliability. Dependable systems must deliver the right amounts of chemicals as required.
  • Accuracy. Most processes need specific amounts of chemicals at various times. The dosage and timing has to be precise.
  • Efficiency. The system must be easy to operate manually and to program for automatic operation.
  • Reduced Waste. Only the amounts of chemicals and water needed are delivered and material is recycled as much as possible.
  • Repeatability. A process step can be carried out repeatedly and always get the same result.
  • Safety. The system must deliver reduced operator error and reduce potential operator exposure to harmful chemicals.

Designing chemical delivery systems with these characteristics means the systems will have a high degree of customization with regard to many of the system components and functions. A provider will have to custom design and manufacture the equipment to fit the location, the application and any specific customer requirements.

The Volume of Chemicals Needed Impacts the System

Some processes only need small amounts of chemicals for spiking solutions or for processing small mixtures while other applications require bulk chemical supply. For spiking, delivering precise dosages is critical while for bulk chemical use receiving and storage are important. Small chemical volumes can be stored wherever there is a small space available but large volumes may need space for large chemical totes along with a load cell interface to keep track of chemical use. Each application depends on site layout and available room for the chemical delivery equipment. Systems have to be customized to fit into the available space.

How Chemicals Are Used Influences Customized Controls

Bulk supply of a single substance needs relatively simple controls but mixing and blending several chemicals needs software and relatively complicated systems. The toxicity and aggressiveness of the chemicals impacts the peripheral physical systems to ensure against leaks, spills and the possible exposure of employees. Each chemical delivery system has unique requirements for functions such as mixing, acidity, etching capability and chemical disposal. Customized controls can accomplish these tasks as long as the basic system has the necessary flexibility and the supplier has the expertise and experience to customize the controls.

Facility Layout Affects System Design

Often an ideal layout situates a small storage container near the process where the chemical is being used. In other systems, it may make sense to bring the chemical from remote storage to the process and pipe the used products away for disposal. While the chemical delivery part of the system is clear, the placement of the system components depends on available space and detailed operational practices. In each case, the physical details of the system have to be adjusted for the site and site-specific operations.

Modutek Can Meet Customization Requirements

With extensive expertise in the field of chemical delivery systems, Modutek has the capability to adapt these systems as needed by their customers. Because the company designs and manufactures its own equipment, it can make changes and adjustments to satisfy specific requirements. Customers can take advantage of Modutek’s in house design and production capabilities to get exactly the systems they need. The resulting customized chemical delivery systems are safe and of the highest quality.

Reviewed and Approved by Douglas Wagner
President & CEO, Modutek Corporation