Umicore inaugurates new production facility in Germany

Umicore’s business unit Precious Metals Chemistry today inaugurated its production unit for advanced metal organic precursor technologies used in the semiconductor and LED markets, respectively TMGa (Trimethylgallium) and TEGa (Triethylgallium). The event was attended by European and overseas customers as well as local and regional politicians. The guest of honor was Dr. Barbara Hendricks, Germany’s Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

Umicore’s TMGa manufacturing process is innovative and unique. It offers a more sustainable and ecological production method by minimizing hazardous side streams and material losses and optimizing yield to nearly 100%.

Dr. Lothar Mussmann, Vice-President of Umicore Precious Metals Chemistry said, “I am proud that this patented innovation has now become a world-class and industrial scale manufacturing plant. It will provide benefits for our customers and the environment and underlines Umicore’s position as a pioneer in sustainable technologies.”

Umicore Precious Metals Chemistry is the only European manufacturer of TMGa and TEGa and supplies customers across the world from its Hanau manufacturing base. Umicore Precious Metals Chemistry helps to reduce cost of ownership through its innovative approach to process chemistry and its collaborative approach with customers and end users.

About Trimethylgallium and Umicore’s manufacturing process

Trimethylgallium (TMGa) is a colorless liquid with very high vapor pressure, which boils at low temperatures. Umicore’s new production process increases the yield of TMGa in comparison with current production technologies. In this way, organic solvents can be completely dispensed with. The TMGa is prepared by chemically reacting gallium trichloride with a more efficient methylating agent in molten salt. This reduces the amount of waste per kilogram of TMGa by more than 50%, with the resulting intermediates being recycled in the process. The finished product is then used in the semiconductor industry, where it evaporates in closed systems onto a substrate. This creates, for example, environmentally friendly LED lamps.

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