Case Study: Electronics Manufacturing

On-site Treatment of IPA and Acetone in Process Wastewater to Eliminate Off-site Incineration and Enable On-site Reuse

Customer Pain Point

A multinational electronics manufacturer operates a facility located in California that uses an isopropyl alcohol-based (IPA) solvent in a final manufacturing step. IPA vapors from the process are removed using a scrubber. The scrubber blowdown is an aqueous waste with an IPA concentration of ~3% (70,000 – 80,000mg/L COD) that cannot be reused on-site or discharged to the sewer because the flash point of the waste stream is below 140 degrees F.

As a result, the IPA wastewater was trucked off-site to an incineration facility located several hundred miles from the facility. Off-site trucking and incineration is expensive, subject to cost escalation, higher risk and energy intensive. The customer’s goal was to treat the wastewater on-site by raising the flash point in order to reduce the cost and risk of off-site shipping and disposal.


Axine system installation at a customer site in CA


Axine’s Solution

Following treatability testing and field piloting, Axine designed, built, installed, owns, operates and maintains a turnkey treatment system under a multi-year service agreement. The Axine system is designed to oxidize the IPA solvent, reducing the overall COD by > 85.0% so the flash point of the treated stream is consistently above the site target of 201 degrees F and can be safely discharged to the sewer. As an added benefit, the Axine treated stream meets the site’s reuse criteria and is subsequently sent to the reclaim system for use as cooling tower make-up water.

The Axine system oxidizes the IPA to trace levels of byproduct gases including hydrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide, which are vented to the atmosphere. No solid or liquid wastes are generated, and no hazardous chemicals are utilized.


Treatment Results

Axine solutions are highly versatile and capable of treating a wide range of organic contaminants such as solvents, aromatics, polymers, surfactants, pesticides, active ingredients and other similar complex organic compounds.

Table 1 shows the wastewater composition before and after Axine treatment.

Table 1 – Wastewater parameters and treatment results


Figure 1 shows Axine treatment performance reducing COD and IPA to achieve the flash point requirement. Overall, this project enables the facility to achieve corporate goals of waste reduction, reducing off-site waste shipments, improving operational efficiency and promoting water reuse.


Figure 1 – Treatment reduction curves for IPA and COD concentrations before, during and after Axine treatment to reduce the flash point


System Design & Operation

Axine’s turnkey system includes wastewater receiving tanks, electrochemical reactors, power supply, controls and instrumentation, trace by-product gas management and flow management systems. The system was assembled offsite by Axine and installed in 48 hours. Axine’s wastewater treatment “as-a-service” package includes 24×7 remote system monitoring, routine and preventative maintenance, all consumables and replacement parts, rapid-response field service support, on-line system monitoring and monthly KPI reporting. Axine systems are fully automated and remotely monitored. Operational and performance data is collected wirelessly. Our proprietary data analytics monitors a wide range of performance metrics to enable safe and reliable operation. Customers can monitor performance on-line at any time.


Customer Value Comparison

Table 2 compares the customer’s previous approach of trucking and incineration with Axine’s on-site treatment solution.

Table 2 – Evaluation of previous method vs. Axine