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Bill Potochniak, PE to Present at SESHA Virtual Symposium

Gallium Arsenide Semiconductor Manufacturer Optimizes Closed Loop Water Reuse System

Senior Project Manager Bill Potochniak, PE will present during the virtual sessions on Wastewater at the annual SESHA Symposium on June 23. Semiconductor Environmental Safety & Health Association (SESHA) is a premier association dedicated to improving environmental, safety, and health performance, preventing workplace injuries and accidents and promoting technological advances through resources, webinars, and conferences.

Potochniak worked with a gallium arsenide (GaAs) semiconductor manufacturer in the northeast that began experiencing water quality issues with its closed loop water reuse system. The system consisted of a series of step-down bag and cartridge filters. Due to increased production, and process water needs, the system’s weekly filter changeouts began requiring daily filter changeouts. The increased filter changeouts were causing the water reuse system to be more labor intensive, expensive to maintain, and increased the level of worker exposure to arsenic during changeouts. As the increased use continued, the system also required monthly shutdowns to conduct a complete cleaning and refill of the system with fresh deionized water. These shutdowns, along with the other challenges, led directly to several environmental, safety, and economic impacts. Even more critical, the deteriorating process water quality was determined to be having a direct impact on product quality and loss of product.

Potochniak’s presentation will discuss methods for evaluating water quality produced by gallium arsenide reuse systems and for assessing the efficiency of filtration systems to determine if modifications, retrofits, or a system redesign can reduce maintenance costs while increasing process capacity. Tighe & Bond began by collecting numerous process water and wastewater samples for laboratory analysis and field settleability testing. The team interviewed process engineers to determine water quality needs in the water processing area. The existing reuse system was also evaluated to identify potential areas for improvement or upgrade. Potochniak will review some of the sampling data and how the initial conclusions and next steps were developed from it. In addition, the presentation will show the original reuse system layout and design and how any challenges were addressed.

To attend the presentation register for the SESHA Symposium here.