Liqui-Cel membrane contactor system installed in major Japanese electronics plant

The 520 m3/hr unit from Membrana will be used for oxygen removal and H2 diffusion in functional water system, which uses reduced oxygen and increased hydrogen content to improve cleaning performance of megasonic irradiation equipment to improve semiconductor wafer processing...

CHARLOTTE, NC, March 3, 2006 -- Membrana is pleased to announce that its Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactor technology has been selected as the technology of choice for gas control in a functional water system in Japan.

Functional water, sometimes referred to as activated water, uses reduced oxygen and increased hydrogen content to improve the cleaning characteristics in megasonic cleaning equipment. Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactors are ideally suited to remove dissolved oxygen that can negatively impact wafer yields in the semiconductor plant. At the same time the contactors can be used to diffuse H2 into water to create functional water, which works with the megasonic irradiation equipment to improve semiconductor wafer processing.

The Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactor system will treat 520 m3/hr of water. Vacuum and hydrogen sweep will be used in combination mode to precisely control the gas outlet in the water. Membrane Contactors are selected for this application because of their ability to dissolve hydrogen into the water on a molecular level without creating bubbles that could be difficult to control. The system will start up in Q1 of 2006.

These membrane contactors are used around the world for adding or removing oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (N2) to or from different liquids in the semiconductor, power, pharmaceutical, photographic, food and beverage, and many other industries. For example, it is known that O2 negatively impacts many processes; it is corrosive and can oxidize materials. In the power and industrial areas, piping and equipment are susceptible to corrosion. Specifically to the semiconductor market, high levels of O2 can cause lower wafer yields. Additionally, CO2 negatively impacts performance of EDI and Ion Exchange. The contactors offer a modular solution for O2/CO2 removal before these processes without chemicals.

They're also used to add gasses to liquids to enhance megasonic cleaning. The beverage industry looks to membrane contactors for carbonation, nitrogenation and O2 removal. These reflect only a few examples of the variety of applications where the Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactors are used. New applications are constantly being developed.

Additionally, Membrana offers liquid ring vacuum pumps, eductors and oxygen sensors to complement the membrane contactors.

Membrana's Industrial Membrane Group also manufactures a variety of membranes used for filtration in various industries and applications. Manufacturing facilities are located in the United States and Europe. Global markets are served through sales offices and affiliates in North America, Europe, Japan, South East Asia and China. Based in Wuppertal, Germany, with North American headquarters in Charlotte, NC, Membrana is a wholly-owned subsidiary of POLYPORE Inc., a growing worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of highly specialized polymer-based membranes used in separation and filtration processes. For more information, see www.liqui-cel.com, www.liqui-flux.com or www.membrana.com.

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