Double-rotor zeolite concentrator system at F15P7 of TSMC

TSMC Leads the Industry to Develop Dual-Rotor Zeolite Concentrators; Reduction Rate of Volatile Organic Gas Emissions Achieves 99.5%

Eason Chao
Lucas Lu

TSMC is committed to developing air pollution prevention technologies with a goal of "zero emission". In addition to complying with the 「Air Pollution Control and Emission Standards for the Semiconductor Industry」and the 「Stationary Pollution Source Air Pollutant Emission Standards」 in Taiwan, the Company has continuously maintained a record of zero cases of abnormal occurrences to supervising authorities. To minimize environmental impact, TSMC has also taken the initiative to develop the best available technology and prevention monitor equipment. As of 2020, TSMC’s average reduction rate of volatile organic gas emissions has surpassed 95% for six consecutive years.

Leading Industry to Develop Dual-Rotor Zeolite Concentrators, with 99.5% Reduction Rate of VOCs

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the world’s largest single risk to the environmental health. TSMC’s fabs use zeolite rotor concentrators integrated with thermal oxidize for the treatment of volatile organic gases, with a reduction rate of volatile organic gases reaching 95-97%, far better than the regulatory requirement of over 90%.

To further improve the reduction rate of zeolite rotors and reduce the emission of VOCs, TSMC’s Facility Division has joined hands with suppliers to lead the domestic industry to introduce dual rotor zeolite concentrators by which the high-concentration process waste gas from the first rotor adsorption process to the thermal oxidizer for combustion was subsequently concentrated in the second rotor and transferred back to the first rotor for repeated processing, successfully achieving 99.5% reduction rate. The dual rotor zeolite concentrators will be the standard design for our new fabs in the future. The new technology has been utilized in Fab 15B and Fab 18A as of the end of 2020, and will be introduced in Fab 18B in 2021.

Dual Rotor Zeolite Concentrators

TSMC Uses Fiberglass as Rotor Substrate for Stable Adsorption and Energy Saving

TSMC uses fiberglass as rotor substrate in zeolite rotors, which reduce 10% of pressure drop and reduce power consumption of exhaust fans by 17.7% to 51kW from 62kW compared to ceramic fiber. Fiberglass not only provides stable VOC adsorption, but also enhances the VOC from 15 times to 20 times or more due to the lower heat capacity. In addition, good adsorption efficiency of fiberglass increases the VOC desorption concentration by 1% and reduces the energy consumption because of the increasing heating value of thermal oxidizer. Take the zeolite rotor concentrator system with dual rotors in Fab 15 Phase 7 as an example. It can save 480 MWh of electricity and reduce 8,660 cubic meters of natural gas usage per year, equivalent to the annual consumption of 19 . Moreover, it can reduce the carbon emission by 266 metric tons per year, equivalent to 70% of the carbon absorption from the .

VOC Reduction Management; All Fabs Keep up with the Times

With advanced process development and capacity expansion, TSMC has introduced new technology on prevention facilities for new plants since 2018. In addition to introducing “clean-gas-desorbing zeolite rotor concentrators”, TSMC’s Facility Division teamed up with ESH to collect VOC operating data from existing fabs for big data analysis in 2019. Moreover, in 2020, TSMC led the industry to introduce Artificial intelligence (AI) index for operations like inlet concentration, and temperature etc., adjusting T1 (combustion temperature) and T3 (desorption temperature) automatically in order to meet the best operating parameter and reduction rate. As a result, the average reduction rate of VOCs notched up to 98% in 2020, moving towards our goal of green manufacturing.

Milestone of TSMC VOC Reduction