Fluoride Action Network

SDK develops new system to decompose PFCs

Source: JCN Newswire | September 5th, 2012

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) will begin marketing a new hybrid-type system for decomposing perfluoro compounds (PFCs) by the end of this year. The system (trade name: HB-3000) does not require a water treatment process, helping to increase exhaust gas treatment capacity and reduce running costs.

PFCs are used in the process of etching LCD panels and semiconductors. As PFCs have high levels of global warming potential (GWP), they need to be decomposed before exhaust. SDK has developed “HB-3000” by combining the advantages of two different decomposition systems, namely, a “chemical capture system” and a “catalytic decomposition system.”

Under the chemical capture system, there is no need of waste water treatment, and the amount of CO2 emissions is small. However, the running costs are high because the system uses high-performance chemicals, which decompose PFCs and capture fluorine-containing substances generated from the decomposition process. Furthermore, the system’s exhaust gas treatment capacity is limited to around 200 liters per minute, due to the restrictions on the capacity of equipment that holds the chemicals. Meanwhile, the catalytic decomposition system involves low running costs and enables treatment of a large volume of exhaust gas, using large-sized equipment. This is because PFCs are decomposed with catalyst and the resulting fluorine-containing substances are absorbed into water. However, the system needs after-treatment of waste water.

SDK has developed a dry-type process for removing fluorine-containing substances under the catalytic decomposition system by introducing low-cost calcium-based adsorbent. Advantages of the new hybrid decomposition system “HB-3000” are as follows:

1. As adsorbent is automatically and directly fed into the system, there is no capacity limit due to the restrictions on the capacity of equipment that holds the adsorbent. Thus, the exhaust gas treatment capacity is maintained at the same level as that of a conventional large-sized catalytic decomposition system (3,500 liters per minute). At the same time, it is now possible to build a compact system that can be installed in a 20-foot container, as the after-treatment process has been eliminated.

2. Running costs pertaining to adsorbent are lower than the running costs for the chemical capture system. Water-treatment cost is reduced, compared with the conventional catalytic decomposition system.

3. Calcium fluoride (CaF2), generated as a result of the capture of fluorine, can be recycled as synthetic fluorite.

SDK’s semiconductor-processing high-purity gas business is classified in the category of “Growth and New Growth” businesses. SDK will sell “HB-3000” in China and other overseas markets where production of LCD panels and semiconductors is expected to grow rapidly. SDK aims to record annual sales of 3 billion yen in 2015 from its exhaust gas treatment equipment business.

About Showa Denko

Showa Denko K.K. ('SDK'; TSE: 4004, US: SHWDF) is a major manufacturer and marketer of chemical products serving a wide range of fields ranging from heavy industry to the electronic and computer industries. SDK makes petrochemicals (ethylene, propylene), aluminum products (ingots, rods), electronic equipment (hard disks for computers) and inorganic materials (ceramics, carbons). The company has overseas operations and a joint venture with Netherlands-based Montell and Nippon Petrochemicals to make and market polypropylenes. In March 2001, SDK merged with Showa Denko Aluminum Corporation to strengthen the high-value-added fabricated aluminum products operations, and is today developing next-generation optical communications-use wafers. For more information, please visit www.sdk.co.jp .