cantaloupe and ICs

david.j.daulton djd at
Wed Dec 2 12:10:51 EST 1992

In article <1992Dec1.185816.1798 at> lebowitz at (Robert J. Lebowitz) writes:
>I heard a report on NPR that AT&T was using a compound derived from
>cantaloupes as a solvent in chip manufacturing.  Does anyone know what
>the substance is, and where there are published references on it?

AT&T IN THE NEWS *** OZONE FRIENDLY -- AT&T researchers have found
that cantaloupes may be the answer to some ozone-depleting
emissions in electronics manufacturing.  The researchers said they
have isolated a compound [n-butyl butyrate] from the fruit that
can replace the chemical trichloroethane used as a solvent in
manufacturing integrated circuits for high-speed computers and
switching systems in telecommunications networks.  Trichloroethane
emits gases that destroy ozone.  The chemical from cantaloupes is
harmless and recyclable, the researchers said. [WSJ]

*** AT&T said that it has started using n-butyl butyrate ati ts
largest manufacturing plant, in North Andover, Mass., to replace
trichloroethane.  AT&T has set a goal of eliminating
chlorohydrocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons, also ozone-depleting
chemicals, from its North Andover plant by the end of the year,
said a spokeswoman.  Its new solvent is much more expensive than
trichloroethane, but AT&T expects to use smaller amounts, so the
overall cost should be about the same. [SF Chronicle]

*** Jose Ors, an engineering supervisor at Bell Laboratories in
Princeton, N.J., which helped develop the new technique, said
researchers were looking for a substitute chemical that would be
biodegradable.  "Our goal was to look for something that was a
naturally occurring product," he said.  N-butyl butyrate met this
requirement as well as the company's specifications for making
integrated circuits, Ors said.  As it turned out, this solvent
also can be found in cantaloupe and a variety of other fruits such
as peaches and plums, he said.  In fact, it's sometimes added to
yogurt to enhance the flavor. [Baltimore Sun]

*** AT&T is investing $25 million to eliminate or cut its use of
ozone-depleting chemicals and has reduced them 76%. Researchers
at Bell Labs earlier developed a flux, used to clean and wet
circuit boards, derived from orange peels. "It makes you wonder
what else we can do with naturally occurring chemicals," said Ors.
"It makes you look at a cantaloupe in a whole different way."
[Cleveland Plain Dealer]

*** And don't worry about cantaloupe prices rising: AT&T's n-
butyl butyrate is a synthetic. [USA Today]

Dave Daulton, Columbus, Ohio, AT&T

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