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Epson Imaging Devices employs cheaper, greener stripping solution

14 Aug 2007

The company claims to be the first LCD manufacturer to eliminate the use of 2-aminoethanol from all its sites in Japan.

Epson Imaging Devices has achieved its goal of removing 2-aminoethanol from its Japanese production sites by the end of fiscal 2007. The chemical is widely used in LCD manufacture, but it has been identified as a pollutant that can damage human health and the environment.

The company remains committed to its stated goal of similarly eliminating 2-aminoethanol from the company’s manufacturing subsidiary in China in fiscal 2008.

The chemical is the main constituent of a stripping solution employed in photolithography, one of the preproduction processes used in the manufacture of LCD panels. During fiscal year 2005 the company used 210 tons of the chemical, which is categorized as a Class I Designated Chemical Substance under Japan’s Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) and is the most-used Class I substance in the company’s operations.

In its place the company has switched to a proprietary alternative chemical, which is half the cost and requires less than half the quantities to achieve the same quality of results as 2-aminoethanol.

The effect has been a dramatic reduction in the company’s overall use of PRTR substances, and Epson has restated its wish to continue reducing the use of chemical substances covered by the PRTR.

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