Fate of low molecular weight organic matters in reverse osmosis and vacuum ultraviolet process for high-quality ultrapure water production in the semiconductor industry

Yonghwan Kang, Jiuk Kwon, Jungbin Kim, Seungkwan Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Ultrapure water (UPW) is essential in the semiconductor industry for rinsing and cleaning products. With the growing demand for UPW, various feed water sources such as tap water, surface water, and wastewater are utilized to produce UPW. However, these feed water sources contain various low molecular weight organic matters (LMWOMs), which can adversely affect the quality of semiconductors when present in treated UPW. Therefore, achieving the complete removal of LMWOMs is crucial in the UPW production process. However, the current reverse osmosis (RO) and vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) processes employed for UPW production have limitations in achieving complete LMWOM removal. Therefore, this study is conducted to investigate the mechanisms of LMWOM removal in RO and the performance of VUV for high-quality UPW production. Six LMWOMs found in the semiconductor industry were tested for lab- and pilot-scale experiments. The result showed that size exclusion is the main mechanism of LMWOM removal in the RO process. However, methanol, ethanol, and urea were not efficiently removed by RO membranes. In addition, a lab-scale VUV experiment was performed under accelerated conditions to examine the oxidation mechanism of LMWOM. The LMWOM with low reactivity to hydroxyl radicals, such as tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) and urea, were not removed perfectly within 60 min and 180 min, respectively. Furthermore, a pilot-scale VUV experiment was performed to examine the oxidation of LMWOM under real UPW production conditions. Despite observing a correlation in the pseudo-first-order rate constants between the lab-scale and pilot-scale experiments, the removal of TMAH and urea was still not achieved even with a lamp power of 320 W. As urea was not completely removed by either RO or VUV, strategies for UPW production using current water sources are discussed to develop future UPW technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number138714
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume423
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Oct 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Low molecular weight organic matter
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Semiconductor industry
  • Ultrapure water
  • Vacuum ultraviolet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Fate of low molecular weight organic matters in reverse osmosis and vacuum ultraviolet process for high-quality ultrapure water production in the semiconductor industry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this