Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) is a very useful chemical used in a variety of industries. However, HF is highly toxic with potential fatal consequences with exposure to humans, so facilities that make or use HF should exercise great care. Nevertheless, there is always the risk of leaks from process elements such as valves, pump seals and storage vessels. Tanker loading, transporting and unloading operations also provide opportunity for HF releases. Industrial processes that make or use HF typically have arrays of point sensors distributed throughout the unit. However, these sensors are maintenance intensive and have relatively slow response times. In addition, a point sensor will not detect an HF release unless it is located directly in the area of that release. Electrochemical HF sensors also respond to chlorine, ammonia, and sulfur dioxide, resulting in false alarms.
By Boreal Laser Inc. based in Edmonton, ALBERTA (CANADA).
Manufacturing TFT/LCD displays requires waste gas treatment as well. Processes that produce large scale Thinfilm Transistors (TFT) on glass substrates, for instance, use Chemical Vapour Deposition – CVD – to separate the thin films onto the material. The process requires cleaning the process chamber periodically and usually employs etching with NF3. Etching of the separated thin films typically utilises CF4, SF6 and chlorinated gases, which release large amounts of waste gas mixtures.
By DAS Environmental Expert GmbH based in Dresden, GERMANY.
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