BOC Edwards Announces New Liquid Abatement System For Metal Electroplating Waste

BOC Edwards has announced the release of its new EPMA™ (electroplated metals abatement system) product, which offers simplified liquid waste treatment and lower cost of ownership than conventional approaches. The first system has been installed and is operational in a major US electronics manufacturing facility where it processes metal laden waste streams from both CMP and multiple plating operations in a single integrated process.

“EPMA greatly simplifies the task of managing waste from electrochemical deposition processes,” said Phil Chandler, general manager liquid abatement, BOC Edwards. “An EPMA system treats multiple waste streams from CMP and plating operations. EPMA generates an easy-to-handle, highly concentrated liquid waste—unlike traditional methods that involve either transporting large volumes of material for off-site processing or managing multiple precipitation based processes, and the solid waste that they create.”

Metallization steps for semiconductor, MRAM, disk platen, and disk head manufacturing produce large volumes of dilute waste with relatively low concentrations of metals including copper, nickel, cobalt and iron. These wastes are produced by post-plating rinse and by planarization steps. Most of the metals are regulated and must be removed before the liquid waste can be discharged. However, the large volumes and dilute concentrations make traditional treatment methods such as precipitation, economically less viable.

The EPMA system removes metals from both CMP and plating rinse streams, discharging a final effluent with very low metals concentrations, and producing a highly concentrated metal bearing waste. The system combines a novel fluidized bed ion exchange system and a multiple stage nano-filtration unit, such that waste volumes are reduced by factors of 1,000 to 1 or more, and metals in the concentrated waste exceed 20,000 ppm.

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