Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactors Installed in Japan

Semiconductor plant will use technology to deoxygenate process water

3M recently installed Liqui-Cel 10 x 28-in. membrane contactors at a semiconductor plant in Japan to deoxygenate process water. The degassing system is designed to process 264 cu meters per hour (1,162 gal per meter) of water and is configured to run with 14 membrane contactors in parallel by one in series. Using a combination of vacuum and nitrogen as a sweep gas, dissolved (O2) levels are targeted to reach < 1ppb at the outlet. System start-up began in April 2012.

Liquid degassing is required by semiconductor/ microelectronics manufacturers because oxygen in the water can negatively impact process yields. Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactor degassing technology is clean and requires a smaller footprint compared to other technologies and has low operating costs. Additionally, chemical usage required to achieve low dissolved gas levels may also be reduced.

Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactors utilize thousands of Celgard Microporous Hollow Fibers to add or remove oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and other gases to or from various liquids. The Extra-Flow design incorporates a baffle in the middle of the contactor, which directs the liquid radially across the array. A strip gas or vacuum, either separately or in combination, is applied on the lumenside of the hollow fibers. Because of its hydrophobic nature, the membrane acts as an inert support to allow direct contact between a gas and liquid phase without dispersion. The dissolved gas in the liquid travels through the pore by applying a higher pressure to the liquid stream relative to the gas stream.

Oxygen negatively impacts many processes; it is corrosive and can oxidize water treatment system components. In the power and industrial areas, piping and equipment are susceptible to corrosion. In the semiconductor and ink markets, high levels of dissolved gases can cause lower yields and slower process speeds. Liqui-Cel Contactors are also used to add gases to liquids to enhance megasonic cleaning. The beverage industry utilizes Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactor technology for carbonation, nitrogenation and deoxygenation. These applications are only a few examples where Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactors can be used for gas transfer.


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