Air Emissions Management
Our efforts to minimize the environmental impact of emissions from semiconductor manufacturing don't end with complying with regulations set forth by the local governments in which we operate. For example, in the Republic of Korea, the DS Division operates pollution prevention facilities to mitigate the impact of air pollutants and processing facilities to minimize emissions. Through these efforts, we have reduced the emission of pollutants by 40% compared to 2001.
Real-time Management through
Smokestack Automatic Measuring Devices
To efficiently operate air pollution prevention facilities and to immediately resolve problems, we measure air pollutant levels emitted from our plants by using smokestack automatic measuring devices in real time. We strictly control pollutant emission density at less than 30% of the acceptable limit and transfer measurement data to administrative agencies in real time.
NOx Reduction Activities
NOx, an air pollutant, has been eliminated from our manufacturing process and LNG boilers. To minimize NOx emission and comply with permissible emission amounts for capital areas, since 2010, Samsung's semiconductor operations have overhauled old facilities and deployed high-quality prevention equipment in existing facilities. We also undertake activities to reduce LNG usage. As a result of such initiatives, LNG usage has declined up to 30% from 2009 levels.
Chemical Substance Emission Control
The DS Division annually inspects chemical substance emissions. We inspect and closely manage the volume of chemicals emitted into the environment (air, water, and soil), including those contained in wastewater and solid wastes.
The amount of chemical substances used increased 5.2 times in 2011 compared to 2001. However, through continuous investment in air pollution prevention facilities and process improvements, environmental emissions decreased by a staggering 51% during the same period.
We participated in the 'Study on Chemical Substance Risk Communication' organized by the KCMA (Korea Chemical Management Association) from September 2008 to April 2009, during which we verified emissions data and conducted an initial risk assessment of hydrogen chloride at the Hwaseong complex. The result of the risk assessment confirmed that there was no significant impact on human health or the environment.
Signatory to Voluntary Agreement
The Giheung site signed a voluntary agreement (30/50 Program) for chemical emissions reduction with the Han River Basin Environmental Office on June 25, 2009. The agreement is a program among businesses, civic groups, and the government to reduce chemical emissions by 30% in 3 years and by 50% in 5 years, respectively.
Isopropanol (IPA) emissions comprise the largest portion of emissions from the Giheung factory. We have cut IPA emissions by 30% in 2011, and we plan to increase that amount by 50% by 2013 compared to 2007 levels through optimizing the efficiency of the emissions treatment system and improving the manufacturing process.
Example of Chemical Emissions Reduction
Improvements in emissions treatment systems:
- Improved treatment efficiency by introducing multi-scrubbers
- Improved nozzles and fillers of current scrubbers
- Constructed deodorization tower at the wastewater treatment facility
Reduction of chemical usage: Reduced the usage of:
- Ammonia by improving processes
- IPA by using a substitute
- Methanol by recycling waste IPA as a carbon source
Reduction of waste movement:
- Reduced waste movement by returning chemical containers back to suppliers for reuse.
Waste Water Management
In an effort to minimize the environmental impact on streams into which waste water is discharged, and to protect aquatic ecosystems, Samsung Electronics' Device Solutions Division minimizes its emission of water pollutants, adheres to an in-house pollutant standard that is stricter than legal requirements (30% lower than the law stipulates) and operates TMS (Tele Monitoring System) to monitor the concentration levels of pollutants around the clock.
Current status of BIO TMS related to Green Center waste water treatment plant construction
To promote a green enterprise and preserve the environment, the Device Solutions Division of Samsung Electronics has also constructed its first enterprise ecological toxicity monitoring system to measure and monitor the ecological toxicity of final effluents from its plants.
From 2005 to 2012, Samsung Electronics' Device Solutions Division reduced water pollutant discharge intensity by 47% compared to 2005. To alleviate the increase in water pollutant emissions caused by line expansions at the Hwaseong facility, a specialized total nitrogen treatment facility (N-Free) was established in 2008 and a new waste water treatment facility was constructed in 2012. As a result, this two-tier treatment system has reduced the total emission of water pollutants by lowering the final treated concentration of water pollutants.
In an effort to protect water resources, approximately 40% of the industrial water is recycled. In 2008, an inorganic waste water recycling system was deployed. In 2011, acidic and alkali waste water recycling technology was developed and a recycling system launched in 2012.
The temperature of discharged water is strictly managed to meet legal requirements. In addition, a water cooling facility was constructed to protect the habitats of tropical fish in the streams, where they can be otherwise impacted by a steady influx of discharged waste water at a constant temperature.
The water cooling facility lowers water temperature through heat exchange with cold water that requires a heat source. Its benefits include energy savings for water heating.
Especially during winter, the water is cooled to below 10°C to minimize its impact on water quality and the aquatic ecosystem.