Catalase for Remediation of Hydrogen Peroxide in Semiconductor Wastewater

Peter Birschbach
(DuPont Industrial Biosciences, Rochester NY)

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Large volumes of hydrogen peroxide are used during the fabrication of semiconductors. Depending on local environmental regulations, downstream water recycling requirements and other factors many semiconductor fabricators find it necessary or desirable to actively remediate the residual hydrogen peroxide in their wastewater. Hydrogen peroxide remediation can be accomplished by a variety of methods including activated carbon, chemical reducing agents and enzymatic decomposition using the catalase enzyme. The use of catalase for decomposition of hydrogen peroxide has significant health and safety, environmental and logistical advantages over the other methods. Unlike the other methods, catalase decomposition of hydrogen peroxide yields water and molecular oxygen and thus does not contribute to total dissolved solids nor does it produce any harmful byproducts. Catalase is also much more suitable for downstream water treatment processes such as ion exchange, membrane filtration, copper recovery, and ammonia recovery. We will present data that clearly demonstrates that catalase is safe and sustainable, highly effective, and significantly less expensive than other peroxide remediation methods.

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