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Why should customers consider recovery and recycling?

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Recovery and recycling process materials in the Fab

There are several reasons why customers should consider recovering materials and recycling.

It could be because there’s a supply side issue causing restrictions and shortages. Or it could be that they want to reduce emissions and discharges from their facility. Or it could also be because they have concerns about safety and handling of the materials.

What are the options customers have?

The technology that will be selected for recovering material from a waste stream, really depends on what the material is that we are trying to recover, and what we are trying to recover it from.

That defines what the separation technology is.

But the choices, more related to the customer and the supply, back to the process tool, are about whether it is an open loop or closed loop system.

Closed loop is where we take the recovered material and send it, more or less, straight back to the process chamber.

Open Loop is where it is either a more area-based system, where we send the material back to some central position on the premises and then redistribute back to a number of process tools.

Or, whether it goes off site to be reprocessed by a third party and then supplied back to the site, near its original form.

So what are the challenges?

The greatest challenge is to keep the system as simple as possible, avoiding complexity.

Complexity comes in as a result of the complexity of the chemistry. What material we’re trying to separate from what other materials? That can drive us to have a system that has several different stages in it.

The other complexity comes from whether the process is steady-state or not. Most semiconductor processors are not steady-state – the flow changes – it’s up, it’s down, it’s off.

Again that means we have to design the system to cope with that non steady state, and that adds some complexity to the system.

Why consider Edwards for recovery and recycling?

At Edwards we have a high level of expertise at handling gases and materials in the semiconductor processes.

We have a long understanding of the customers’ needs that the process tools operate reliably and with minimum intervention.

We have a long understanding of the customers’ needs that the process tools operate reliably and with minimum intervention. Generally, the materials that we are separating here are either flammable, pyrophoric or toxic, or have some emissions concerns. It is essential that they are handled safely.

Edwards is well known, besides its technology, for its culture of ‘safety first’.

Recover and recycling of process gases: What are the options?

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