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.