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 Acid Fume Scrubbers Work to Maintain a Clean Work Environment

Creating silicon wafer microstructures, integrated circuits, and processors requires an extensive multi-step process of etching, stripping, and cleaning silicon wafers. Chemicals such as sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid or hydrogen peroxide carry out these operations effectively but give off vapor that is harmful for workers inside the workspace and for the environment outside. In addition to affecting worker health, there are regulatory compliance issues for a safe working environment. Acid fume scrubbers remove the harmful vapors from the air, leaving a clean workspace and clean air to be discharged outside the manufacturing facility. Modutek’s acid fumes scrubbers are especially effective and have a low cost of operation as well.

Acid Fume Scrubber Operation

The exhaust air from wet process stations will often contain droplets of the acid used in the process. Even as a mist of fine droplets, these acids remain extremely corrosive and may impact worker health, especially if inhaled. With increasingly strict regulations regarding worker safety and environmental impacts, such exhaust air has to be treated before being released into the workspace or outside.

Acid fume scrubbers neutralize the acid vapors and clean the exhaust air so that it is no longer dangerous for workers or harmful to the environment. The exhaust air containing the acid fumes is passed over a bed of wet packing material. The liquid in the packing material bed includes a chemical that neutralizes the acid safely. The acid droplets dissolve in the neutralizing liquid as the vapor passes over the wet packing bed and the acid is neutralized as it is absorbed from the exhaust air. The air exiting the acid fume scrubber contains only traces of acid and is safe.

The effectiveness of the scrubbers depends on the volume of air the scrubbers can handle and the surface area of the wet packing that is exposed to the acid fumes. Modutek’s acid fume scrubbers use packing material from packing technology leader Lantec to achieve an especially high surface area in the packing bed. To match the air exhaust requirements, Modutek acid fume scrubbers are available with air handling capacities from 500 to 25,000 CFM. Matching the air handling capacity to the high packing material surface area can result in acid fume removal from the exhaust air of up to 99 percent. At the same time, a water re-circulating system with pH control keeps the water consumption to a minimum and operating costs are low. Installing Modutek acid fume scrubbers lets wafer fabrication facility managers keep their workspaces clean and operating environment safe.

The Benefits of Using Acid Fume Scrubbers

When acid fumes get into the workplace, it impacts the workers and can corrode machinery. Even small concentrations can have negative effects over time. A clean work environment is especially important in semiconductor wafer fabrication because contaminants on the wafers affect the quality of the final product. As a result, placing acid fume scrubbers in the air exhausts of wet stations can improve worker health and improve product quality.

Modutek’s high efficiency acid fume scrubbers are complemented by a safe operating environment and an operator-friendly user interface. Double containment construction adds extra safety and there is a bottom drain for easy maintenance. The flow and pressure gauges give the operator a complete picture of the process while level control and metered discharge help ensure proper operation. With the neutralization of the acid taking place within the scrubber, operation of the scrubber is completely safe.

When the work environment is clean, workers will perform better, especially if they know they don’t have to be concerned about their health. Modutek’s acid fume scrubbers ensure that a clean and healthy work environment is possible, even in the face of using chemicals common in wet process wafer fabrication facilities. Contact Modutek for a free quote or consultation on selecting the right fume scrubber for your facility.

 

What Fume Scrubbers Do and the Benefits They Provide

What Acid Fume Scrubbers Do and the Benefits They ProvideManufacturing processes such as semiconductor etching or the cleaning of parts with strong chemical solvents generate exhaust fumes containing the process chemicals in gaseous or droplet form. Such fumes have to be neutralized before they can be released into the atmosphere or into the air inside the manufacturing or research facility. The fumes are harmful to human health and may be corrosive to plant machinery. Companies face fines if they release fumes into the outside atmosphere and may contravene labor standards if the fumes reach the factory floor or lab work areas.

Modutek’s Acid Fume Scrubbers use a wet packed bed to remove acid and base chemical traces in chemical process exhaust fumes. The fumes pass over wet packing material and the chemicals are removed as they come into contact with a neutralizing solution in the beds. Well-designed fume scrubber beds expose the fumes to a large surface area covered in neutralizing solution. The harmful gases dissolve in the solution, are neutralized and are no longer present in the air. A wide range of fume volume handling capability makes the Modutek fume scrubbers suitable for all kinds of manufacturing facilities and university or company research labs.

Custom Designs

Modutek offers a wide range of models to address the various fume scrubbing requirements that customers may have. Air handling capacities range from 500 CFM to 25,000 CFM and each scrubber is designed to meet the customer’s air quality standards. The scrubbers come with a NEMA 4 control cabinet, a complete set of flow and pressure gauges, control of the scrubber water level and a metered discharge. Seismic and structural certification is available. The scrubber models have the flexibility to meet many requirements such as treating air from acid exhaust hoods, plating stations, precision cleaning stations and wet benches.

High Efficiency

Modutek’s Fume Scrubbers operate at high efficiencies to neutralize chemical fumes from exhaust air and minimize water usage. Automatic pH control of the scrubber water optimizes operation and allows removal of acid and base chemical fumes of up to 99 percent. The scrubbers use packing material from packing media industry leader Lantec to maximize the surface area of the scrubber solution exposed to the fume gases and reduce water usage to a minimum.

Modutek Acid Fume Scrubber Features

Acid Fume scrubbers from Modutek are designed for low cost of ownership with a low use of consumables. A bottom drain and the Lantec packing material facilitate maintenance. The scrubbers are made of black polypropylene with UV protection and they feature double containment for extra safety.

To ensure and maintain efficient operation, the scrubbers recirculate the scrubber water and feature a demister section and removal of water-soluble vapor. These features together with the design flexibility of the scrubbers and the company’s capability to offer highly customized units make Modutek’s Acid Fume Scrubbers an excellent choice for use in many factories and labs. Manufacturing processes such as semiconductor fabrication and biomedical devices as well as research labs using chemical processes can make sure that they maintain the clean air quality they need. If you need more information or a quote on Modutek’s Acid Fume Scrubbers call 866-803-1533 or email [email protected].