September 14, 2012 – DAS Environmental Expert says it has a new system that offers a more environmentally friendly way to clean waste process gases produced in LED manufacturing.
LED demand continues to soar due to demand for backlighting (mobile devices and TVs) and general lighting — Yole Développement projects 2012 sales of $3.5B this year, doubling since 2010, and doubling again to $7B in 2014.
With that ramp-up, though, LED manufacturers have to deal with manufacturing process ramifications, such as the heavy use and disposal/emissions from process gases including ammonia and hydrogen. Taiwan is expected to enact stricter regulations in 2013 for waste water/gas disposal, which will emphasize the need for more environmentally friendly processes, notes DAS.
The company’s new LARCH system is said to be "based on a simple principle:" Initial thermal dissociation of ammonia is achieved by reaction heat; hydrogen is then ignited and burned off by electrical heating elements to be safely released into the atmosphere. (Heat generated by the reactions is transferred to a downstream heat exchanger.) It "economically" achieves low emission values, which means it can replace wet scrubbing processes that create large quantities of ammonia solution that must be further managed, the company explains.
The new LARCH system "has already generated a lot of interest" and enquiries from potential customers, according to Guy Davies, director of DAS’ gas treatment business unit. "Beyond LED manufacturing, DAS sees the system "finding application in other processes in which ammonia and hydrogen are generated." (DAS has other abatement systems targeting MOCVD technology but it’s unclear how or if they are related to LARCH.)
The LARCH system for processing and disposal of waste gases in LED manufacturing. (Source: DAS)