Nalco, an Ecolab company (NYSE:ECL), has helped Freescale Semiconductor's Oak Hill fabrication plant in Austin, Texas, respond to severe drought conditions by enabling a substantial reduction in the use of municipal fresh water and increasing water reuse and recycling.
Headquartered in Austin, Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. Freescale's home state of Texas is facing punishing drought conditions, recently recording the state's driest 12-month period on record. The U.S. Department of Agriculture drought monitor shows 80 percent of the state in either extreme or exceptional drought.
Semiconductor manufacturing requires substantial amounts of water, including large chiller systems that regulate temperature and humidity within the manufacturing process to ensure chip quality. Freescale Semiconductor has made a commitment to reduce its manufacturing operations' water consumption by 50 percent by 2015.
To help achieve this commitment, an alternative to municipal fresh water was considered for use in the Oak Hill facility's cooling system — the water used in the manufacturing process to wash the surface of the silicon wafers after polishing. However, contaminants from the wash process could cause numerous problems in the cooling system, including corrosion or microbio fouling and scale buildup that can reduce cooling efficiency.
By implementing Nalco's Green Chemistry award-winning 3D TRASAR® Technology for Cooling Water, Freescale is safely using the reclaimed manufacturing process water. Using fluorescent molecules tagged to water treatment chemicals and a fluorescent bio-reporter molecule, the 3D TRASAR system can continuously monitor and adjust Nalco's patented chemistry to the appropriate level to protect Freescale's cooling system.
In addition, Freescale's Oak Hill site is now using Nalco's PORTA-FEED® Delivery System, which provides "hands-off" chemical handling through a variety of returnable chemical containers. These units replace the need for traditional 55-gallon drums, improving employee safety and reducing the likelihood of spills or leaks and eliminating waste.
Source: Ecolab Inc.