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.