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DAS system eliminates waste gases in LED industry

DAS Environmental Expert GmbH has developed a new product solution for environmentally friendly cleaning of process gases such as ammonia and hydrogen, which are used during LED manufacturing
DAS Environmental Expert GmbH has developed the "LARCH" system for the environmentally friendly disposal of reactive waste gases released during the production of LED wafers.

LARCH gas disposal unit

As the statutory provisions on waste water and waste gas disposal will be tightened in Taiwan from 2013 onwards, Taiwanese companies will soon have to start looking around for new solutions.

Taking into account that our world is becoming more ecologically aware, engineers at DAS have recognised that it is necessary to eradicate waste process gases in an eco-friendly manner.

“With LARCH we are specifically reacting to requirements from LED makers. The LED industry is known to be a growth market and in our discussions with customers we have become aware of the demands made on modern disposal technologies," says Guy Davies, Director Business Unit GasTreatment.

“We have given a great deal of thought to this and the LARCH system is the result. It has already generated a lot of interest: enquiries from some potential customers have already come in," adds Davies.

Industry analysts predict sustained growth in demand in the LED market. After LED backlighting for the small LC displays of mobile phones and the LC displays of larger screens in the television market, the next potential growth market is the lighting industry. Sales of LEDs in this market in 2012 are almost $3.5 billion, nearly doubling since 2010. Yole Développement is expecting a growth of more than $7 billion in 2014 and believes that the total market for LEDs should peak at $17.7 billion.

A mass market on this scale for LEDs also means increasing emissions. In the manufacture of products based on innovative LED technology, ammonia and hydrogen are used in large quantities as process gases.

In the new LARCH system, the initial thermal dissociation of ammonia is achieved by reaction heat. Hydrogen is then ignited and burnt off by electrical heating elements. The reaction heat is transferred to a downstream heat exchanger. This is an elegant solution for the disposal of the large quantities of process gases generated in LED production.

The gases cleaned by LARCH can be safely released into the atmosphere. Sensors and numerous redundant safety systems guarantee stable and safe operation.

Although the process is based on a simple principle, it can still economically achieve low emission values. It is therefore able to replace the previously used wet scrubbing solutions, which create large quantities of ammonia solution. It is also much more environmentally friendly.

“We developed LARCH especially for typical applications in the LED industry and adapted it to the industry's requirements. But we could also imagine the system finding application in other processes in which ammonia and hydrogen are generated. Therefore we are looking to continuously develop the technology," concludes Davies.

Established in 1991, DAS Environmental Expert GmbH, headquartered in Dresden, Germany, is an environmental technology company. DAS is a technology and equipment supplier for process gas disposal solutions. The firm's technology is employed in the semiconductor, TFT-LCD and electronics industry as well as the solar power isector. DAS also develops process and system solutions for treating industrial and communal waste water.

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