challenges in de semi-conductor industry

The semicon industry, one of the world’s largest in terms of added value, is a thirsty business. A single 8-inch silicon wafer, the basis for about 100 chips, can require up to 7,500 liters of water to produce. About two-thirds of that has to be ultrapure water. UPW can be regarded as an industrial solvent. It is purified to the most stringent of standards for all contaminant types, including organic and inorganic compounds, dissolved and particulate matter, and dissolved gases.

Being the biggest consumer of very high quality water, known as Ultra Pure Water (UPW), the semi-conductor industry faces substantial water challenges. The industry does not only require large volumes of water with a high standard.

It inherently produces a significant amount of wastewater which needs to meet a minimum standard for disposal or reuse.

Reduction, reuse and recycling is necessary to bring relief to locally available water sources, the environment, and total production costs.

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We offer a range of different ultrafiltration (UF) technology that are perfectly suited for the pretreatment phase in the process of making ultrapure water (UPW). X-Flow hollow-fiber UF technology address total suspended solids, turbidity, bacteria and viruses. The well-known X-Flow technologies Xiga and Aquaflex are the industry standard for pretreatment reverse osmosis (RO).

Process water treatment
The semi-conductor industry is the largest consumer of ultrapure water (UPW). UPW is essential for cleaning and rinsing the surface of silicon wafers, which are the basis for chips and photovoltaic cells. Typically, the size of the wafer and water quality goes hand-in-hand; smaller wafers require a higher water quality. Trace impurities in UPW can lead to decreased yield and even defects in the wafer. With the continuously shrinking size of wafers, it becomes more and more important to remove trace impurities from UPW, including silica, which is considered to be the most difficult to remove.
Silica exists in water in different forms, such as dissolved, colloidal or granular. Impurities in the water that stay on the surface of the wafer after the water has evaporated can damage the wafer surface. Silica, for instance, can act as an undesired bridge between conducting surfaces. Semi-conductor industry requirements show that the level of silica (SiO2) in UPW may not exceed 0.3 ppb.

Waste water treatment
With the large volumes of water the industry is consuming, it correspondingly produces a large amount of wastewater. Industrial wastewater production, and the potential for aquatic pollution, is closely being monitored by regulatory bodies, which monitor water consumption and quality of the discharged water.

treatment solutions

The X-Flow portfolio includes a series of capillary and tubular technologies specifically developed as a robust solution for high effluent quality and small footprint designs in water and wastewater treatment.

Key performance indicators such as footprint, energy and chemicals consumption are the basis for designing tailor-made water treatment installations. Ultrafiltration is the ideal pretreatment for reverse osmosis and other final polishing methods, and will result in increased lifetime and enhanced performance of these downstream processes. Pentair Advanced Filtration is your partner in the development of, and supplier of the vital components in, optimum solutions for your water challenges.

Water reuse is a key element in the reducing the footprint of the semiconductor industry. Recycling offers a great return on investment and can pay for itself in a matter of months if you can quickly produce an effluent of reusable quality. Pentair X-Flow is a leading supplier of MBR technology characterized by high biodegradation efficiency and effluent quality. We offer the solutions that make the difference in demanding applications by focusing on reliability, cost-efficiency and synergy. Our integrated approach and technologies offer the best reuse opportunities.