NEC Electronics changes manufacturing process to eliminate hazardous chemicals

Company eliminates use of phenol, dichlorobenzene, and trimethyl benzenes in seminconductor production process, resulting in $150,000 annual cost savings.

By Control Engineering Staff May 29, 2009

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized NEC Electronics America Inc. for eliminating more than 35,000 pounds of toxic chemicals from manufacturing operations at its Roseville, CA, facility. As part of the EPA’s National Partnership for Environmental Priorities program, the semiconductor manufacturer voluntarily made changes to its manufacturing process that used hazardous chemical mixtures, eliminating more than 35,000 pounds of toxic chemicals and saving $150,000 per year.”Changing the way a company manufactures its products doesn’t come quick or easy, yet NEC Electronics America set out to voluntarily make these changes to protect the environment,” said Jeff Scott, the waste management director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region.In September 2007, NEC Electronics America committed to eliminating three solvents from one of its processing steps. Since then, the company has eliminated 8,070 pounds of phenol; 19,645 pounds of dichlorobenzene, and 7,366 pounds of trimethyl benzenes, and has not used any of these chemicals since September 2008. The $150,000 annual cost savings come from a combination of factors including: eliminating the purchase of these chemicals, reducing hazardous waste disposal fees, and reducing maintenance of air treatment equipment.NEC Electronics America has set two new environmental goals as part of its environmental management system to minimize waste—reducing the use of calcium chloride by 1.1 million pounds and calcium hydroxide by 220,000 pounds, which are chemicals used in other semiconductor manufacturing processes. Read more about NEC’s environmental policies .NEC Electronics America is a member of the EPA’s National Partnership for Environmental Priorities program, which encourages public and private organizations to form voluntary partnerships with EPA to reduce the use or release of toxic priority chemicals. The program’s goal is to work with industry and the public to reduce the use or release of four million pounds of priority chemicals by 2011. Click here for more information on the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities.– Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director

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