It aims at developing technologies on equal or higher level than those in the United States and Japan.
A research institute in Korea will develop technologies for recycling NF₃ generated in processing semiconductors and LCDs.
Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) announced on September 16 that it decided to support the ‘project of developing technologies for recycling NF₃ generated in processing semiconductors and LCDs’ as part of the third short-, mid- and long-term programs of developing energy technologies in the latter half of 2013.
The project is designed to develop technologies of recycling NF₃ generated in processing semiconductors and LCDs. And it is aimed at developing technologies for recycling NF₃ on equal or higher level than cutting-edge technologies developed by the United States and Japan, in terms of such indicators as dust removing efficiency, dehydration efficiency, and concentration and recovery ratio.
Specific technologies to be developed under the project will include technologies for substance and system for low energy gas preprocessing of semiconductors and LCDs; materials for absorbing low-loss NF₃; separation membrane material for refining and collecting highly selective and highly transparent fluorinated gas; technologies for catalyzing, decomposing and treating NF₃ with low energy; technologies for engineering preprocessing, separating, concentrating, treating systems of separation membrane-absorption hybrid NF₃; and technologies for reproducing NF₃ gas with purity of over 99.999% from collected NF₃ gas.
According to KIER, NF₃ is one of greenhouse gases, whose emission is ruled to be reduced with top priority in the post Kyoto Protocol system in 2013 as its global warming potential is as high as 17,200. As a gas mainly used in semiconductor and display industries, it is also subject to be controlled by regulations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
And its consumption volume is increasing as a gas that partly substitutes SF₆ in processing, and companies in Korea are producing over 70% of the entire world’s demand for NF₃, calling for early development of technologies for separating and recycling NF₃.
Through this project, KIER intends to deal with international restrictions on emission of NF₃ to be intensified in the future and increase share in related markets.
Fluorinated gas-related technologies are applied to direct treatment, collection, refinement, recycling and substituting other substances. Their world market is predicted to increase from 1,650 billion won in 2013 to 2,550 billion won by 2019.
Given that 90% of entire consumption volume of NF₃ is used for etching, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and cleaning semiconductors and displays, the KIER’s project is expected to help major electronic companies in Korea, such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and SK Hynix, improve competitiveness.
A manager at KIER said, “As it is unique that international markets of technologies for separating, concentrating and reusing fluorinated gas related to NF₃ gas are almost equivalent to those in Korea, technologies developed in Korea can preoccupy and control both international and local markets. Particularly, since OCI Materials in Korea supplies 70% of world’s NF₃ demand, companies in Korea will be able to competitively lead market of collecting and reusing NF₃, and technologies developed in Korea are expected to be adopted as world’s standard technologies.”