At the heart of the ArgonØ is a patented chemical looping combustion (CLC) reactor that utilises a solid state oxygen carrier to combust the process contaminants along with oil vapour etc., introduced from the vacuum pumps, to CO2 and water; these are subsequently removed via molecular sieve traps.
The solid state oxygen carrier ensures the recycled gas is oxygen free – measured levels are better than 50 ppb a factor of 40 better than the SEMI specification. When exhausted the oxygen carrier is regenerated using atmospheric air in a separate step and then purged with argon to remove residual air prior to entering a standby mode.
The molecular sieve columns are regenerated via a combination of heating and purging; overall the system operates on a 8-12 hour cycle dependant on the levels of contamination in the exhaust gas. The ArgonØ ™ has a duty standby set up to ensure continuous operation.