Semiconductors and Electronics Manufacturing

Water solutions for the semiconductor industry

The manufacturing of semiconductors and electronics generates unique wastewaters. Saltworks can help you to manage wastewater flows from microelectronics production, targeting ammonia, metals, and fluoride and other ions for removal, as well as reducing brine waste, and increasing water reuse.

Semiconductors and Water

High purity water for washing and etching processes is essential to the production of semiconductor devices. The wastewater produced often contains organic solvents and inorganic contaminants. Saltworks can help with these challenges, including:

  • Reducing ammonia loads in biological processes & optimizing stripper scrubbers,
  • Precipitating fluoride from etching wastewater,
  • Reducing suspended solids to a low level using robust, ceramic ultrafiltration,
  • Selectively precipitating metals such as arsenic and copper in a compact plant with intelligent automation,
  • Brine Management such as recovering water from reverse osmosis brine and ion exchange resin regeneration waste.
Photo of a silicon semiconductor wafer
Photo of a full-scale, 2-module, Saltworks BrineRefine plant
A full-scale, 2-module, Saltworks BrineRefine plant

Fluoride

The silicon microelectronics industry uses hydrofluoric acid (HF) etching, producing fluoride-rich wastewater. Chemical precipitation and coagulation are used to treat fluoride.

 

Saltworks’ BrineRefine automates chemical reactions to improve operations while reducing footprint. BrineRefine uses intelligent automation—with optional ion-specific sensors—to dose chemicals precisely. Variability on the inlet flow is accepted, which reduces costs of chemical and sludge disposal.

 

XtremeUF, our robust ceramic ultrafiltration system, removes precipitate and other particulate, producing a high-quality filtrate in a small footprint. Clarifiers can also be partnered with BrineRefine.

Metals

Heavy metals such as arsenic, nickel, and cobalt can also be removed with our BrineRefine solution. Production of amorphous solids from these processes requires a high rate of slurry thickening and pressing to ensure sound water recovery and economics.

 

BrineRefine’s built-in XtremeUF system can concentrate slurries to the extreme, reducing the load on filter presses and operators, thereby reducing costs. 100% water recovery can be achieved, with the only waste being a minimized solid filter cake.

A photo of an XtremeUF ceramic ultrafiltration plant's vessels
Image of an ammonium ion

Ammonia/Ammonium

Biological treatment and/or stripper scrubbers are widely used in ammonia wastewater treatment. Biological treatment can produce harmless nitrogen gas, while stripper scrubbers manufacture a rich ammonium sulfate solution, which can be blended into fertilizer.

 

Ammonia presents unique challenges with many pathways to its removal. Treatment choices are largely determined by the economics of ammonia handling post-removal (destruction, reuse, transport).

 

Saltworks can facilitate or optimize treatments by:

  • Reviewing your ammonia problem and developing a matrix of comparative options, including costs
  • Concentrating ammonia wastewaters with XtremeRO
  • Using end-to-end solutions that involve ammonia stripping, scrubbing, & crystallizing
  • Boosting stripper-scrubber capacity by extracting ammonia from the scrubber circuit, increasing absorption capacity
  • Crystallizing ammonium sulfate using our SaltMaker evaporative crystallizers
  • Removing ammonia load through novel processes using off-the-shelf unit operations specific to your water
  • Converting to nitrogen gas via chemical or electrochemical methods

Brine Management

Saltworks’ brine management solutions can produce clean water from reverse osmosis brines, ion exchange regeneration wastes, and other concentrated saline waters. Our experts can help you to understand your brine minimization options, and the costs involved in taking each incremental step.

 

For membrane systems, we can maximize recovery from various microelectronics brines and wastewaters with our ScaleSense real-time ion-specific sensors, or our XtremeRO brine concentrator.

 

After membrane system recovery has been optimized, our thermal desalination solutions from the SaltMaker family of modular, fully packaged industrial evaporator-crystallizers can help you to achieve minimal (MLD) or zero liquid discharge (ZLD). Waste heat-driven options are available.

 

Contact us to learn more about our solutions for microelectronics wastewaters.

A photo of a wastewater disposal truck used in brine management

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