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Ultrapure Water Generation, Indispensable for the Technology Sector

Ultrapure water (UPW) is a fundamental part of the technology industry; it is produced with diverse techniques that vary in costs, energy consumption and application. Ecolab helped a mobile phone manufacturer save almost 300 million liters of water and close to $2 million dollars.

March 12, 2019

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO. March 13th, 2019. Did you know that ultrapure water is essential for the generation of computers, smartphones, tablets, television screens, modems and solar panels? They could be perceived as opposed elements. In fact, water plays a critical role in the production of virtually every electronic device.

For the manufacture of semiconductors, present in all types of technology, UPW is required. In order to reach maximum conductivity, the water must be free of dissolved and suspended solids. This type of liquid has specific characteristics that are suitable for application in all technologies that use microprocessors, semiconductors or are silicon based.

Until a few years ago, the extraction of ultrapure water went through a process that required a high consumption of electrical energy or fuel, which represented an increase in costs and greater environmental damage. Presently, there are different processes in order to generate UPW, such as inverse osmosis in which 50% of the water that is supplied comes out as treated water (for use in the semiconductor industry), while the rest ends with a higher concentration of salts.

Ecolab offers solutions that improve this type of process and have helped preserve almost 280 million liters of water per year at one of its customer locations. This is equivalent to the annual drinking water consumption of more than 255,000 people and represents a savings of $1.7 million dollars.

“Precise control of temperature and humidity are essential for the semiconductor manufacturing process, therefore these facilities typically have large cooling operations. They also consume large amounts of UPW and generate wastewater. The high volume of water consumption can present important challenges in areas with water scarcity where many of the largest chip manufacturing plants operate," said Jesus Riezco, Nalco Water Light leader or Ecolab Mexico.

The reach of ultrapure water extends beyond the semiconductors and microprocessors that it helps to produce, into practically all electronic devices that are used in everyday life, as well as industrial processes that involve technology like computers, smartphones, tablets, television screens, modems, solar panels, and a long list of others.

"The plant of one of our customers produces chips that are used in mobile devices. 3D TRASAR™ technology helped the plant reduce dramatically its water consumption, to control corrosion and microbial growth, and to optimize its operations,” added Jesus.

3D TRASAR is an innovative Ecolab technology for water treatment management that combines chemical products, automated monitoring, and expert engineers, to measure water processes. "We take the data provided by the 3D TRASAR system, we upload it to the cloud and use algorithms to help our clients make predictive decisions and avoid problems in their facilities. With this solution, we minimize waste, protect water and maximize its use. It is in our hands to protect the future of the planet," concluded Riezco.

There are over 20,000 3D TRASAR systems installed at customer locations around the world.

About Ecolab
A trusted partner at nearly three million customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protects people and vital resources. With annual sales of $14 billion and 48,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions, data-driven insights and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world. For more Ecolab news and information, visit  https://en-la.ecolab.com/

Follow us on Twitter @ecolab, Facebook at facebook.com/ecolab, LinkedIn at Ecolab or Instagram at Ecolab Inc.

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