In the past 5 years, point-of-use gas scrubbers have become a much more important aspect of a facilities abatement system. The reasons are safety, economic, regulation related as described below.
A primary factor in the rise of point-of-use abatement was the capacity limitations of the central facility scrubber (CFS) systems. Many fabs are finding that that their central facility scrubber are approaching full utilization, while at the same time, their new processes are generating even higher abatement requirements. Since building additional CFS capacity is costly and time consuming (due to permitting process), facilities managers have increasingly turned to point-of-use scrubbers.
Point-of-use scrubbers can be configured for process specific gas abatement and consequently improve upon the destruction and removal efficiency (DRE) of toxic gases, most notably silane (SiH4), phosphine (PH3), and arsine (AsH3). POU abatement also enables EHS engineers to more effectively monitor waste discharge and capture for compliance with environmental regulations.
Finally, POU tools can increase plant safety and reduce facility maintenance by intercepting corrosive, particulate laden, flammable, and toxic gas streams. These streams are immediately captured following the reactor, and therefore do not have to be transported large distances to CFS abatement equipment.