With the ever-expanding and drastically increasing technology industry pumping out new devices and computers at an exceptionally quick rate, many people are upgrading their phones, tablets, and laptops almost every year. But what happens to everyone’s old devices?
The vast majority of the time, they simply end up in our local landfills, completely unable to degrade.
Now, however, researchers have potentially discovered something that will hopefully eliminate electronic waste from our planet’s future completely.
A team of scientists in California, hailing from prestigious organizations like Stanford University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the computer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard, have developed a flexible circuitry that is also biodegradable.
The group has figured out a way to build a working circuit on a base that is made completely from cellulose, the main ingredient in plant fibers. The remainder of the device is made from simple carbon-based compounds, with everyday iron providing the electrodes.
If the device becomes old or stops functioning, all it needs is a little splash of vinegar or something with a comparable acidic pH, and it will begin to dissolve on its own, completely free of any kind of excess waste.
“Using an ultrathin biodegradable substrate, we successfully fabricated polymer transistors and logic circuits that show high performance and are ultralightweight, but they can be fully disintegrable,” the scientists wrote.
Right now, the circuits can actually be produced for a cheaper cost than what is being used right now, but the performance is not yet up to par with the current generation.
These devices are incredibly versatile, with the ability to be used not only in daily-use devices, but also in the medical industry as implantable sensors. The options are almost limitless and it’s just a matter of time!
To learn more about how big of an issue electronic waste actually is, check out the video below.
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