Water reuse, Water reclamation, Industrial water use, Semiconductors, Wafer fabrication, Fabs, Green manufacturing
Semiconductors are enabling technologies that drive today’s information economy by producing a broad spectrum of microelectronic consumer products including computers, flat-panel displays, sensors, storage devices, and lighting devices. Manufacturing of these semiconductor devices and products is capital and resources intensive and typically operates with either a vertically integrated manufacturing mode or with a cluster of supply-chain partnering companies in the vicinity of each other. Our research group has previously reported the water recycling and reuse efficiencies of ‘‘fabs” in the Science Parks in Taiwan (Lin et al., Res. Cons. Recycl. 2015), which exemplify this unique cluster of tech-manufacturing fabs demanding intensive supply of water and energy. We extend our discussion by summarizing the status of water consumption of major semiconductor and optomicroelectronic plants, and the industry’s collective and individual water reuse goals. Though the geographical location of fabs plays an important part of the water reuse efficiency, the industry generally displays a strong urgency to use water responsibly to maintain corporates’ competitiveness and to effectively manage the risks associated with water shortage. Additionally, the examination of water and energy expenditures of semiconductor fabs indicated a close water-energy relationship in the compartment of ultrapure water production process. The energy needed to treat, recycle and reuse spent water is secondary as compared to the energy demand for manufacturing processes. Using the industrial cluster in Taiwan as an example to illustrate the potential of improve water reuse through collaborative schemes, we conducted a survey-based study to assess how the industry perceived the proposed ‘‘inter-plants” and ‘‘inter-park” schemes designed to create a reclaimed water trading mechanism in place of the existing ‘‘in-plant” practice of water reclamation. Respondents showed an overall positive perception to such schemes on the basis of reducing water and energy demands in a cost-effective manner. The cost of water supply was a dominant factor in the perceived extent of benefits.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Den, Walter; Chen, Chih-Hao; and Luo, Yung-Chien, "Revisiting the Water-Use Efficiency Performance for Microelectronics Manufacturing Facilities: Using Taiwan’s Science Parks as a Case Study" (2018). Water Resources Science and Technology Faculty Publications. 1.
Den, W., Chen, C. H., & Luo, Y. C. (2018). Revisiting the water-use efficiency performance for microelectronics manufacturing facilities: Using Taiwan’s Science Parks as a case study. Water-Energy Nexus, 1(2), 116-133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wen.2018.12.002