You are here:
POLLUTION PREVENTION IN THE SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRY THROUGH RECOVERY AND RECYCLING OF GALLIUM AND ARSENIC FROM GAAS POLISHING WASTES
Sturgill, J., J. Swartzbaugh, AND P M. Randall*. POLLUTION PREVENTION IN THE SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRY THROUGH RECOVERY AND RECYCLING OF GALLIUM AND ARSENIC FROM GAAS POLISHING WASTES. Sikdar, S.K. (ed.), CLEAN PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, 2:18-27, (2000).
A process was developed for the recovery of both arsenic and gallium from gallium arsenide polishing wastes. The economics associated with the current disposal techniques utilizing ferric hydroxide precipitation dictate that sequential recovery of toxic arsenic and valuble gallium, with subsequent purification and inhouse reuse of both, is to the benefit of the gallium arsenide crystal grower. The developed process involves first the removal of the majority of the arsenic and suspended polish as a mixed precipitate of calcium arsenate and polish. This first process step is performed at ambient temperatures and at a pH>11 using NaOH. At these pH regimes, gallium is retained in solution as a sodium gallate species. precipitation of virtually pure gallium hydroxide is then accomplished in the next process step through pH adjustment to between 6 and 8 with waste acids. The commonly used ferric hydroxide coprecipitation step is retained as a final treatment step, but because of the removal of the majority of the arsenic, gallium, and polish in the two prior steps, far less waste is land disposed. A patent application has been filed with the US Patent Office.