To help combat e-waste a team of leading researchers is developing degradable electronic components created from corn starch, the American Chemical Society has revealed.
This is an important step in finding solutions to the huge amounts of waste generated by electronics. In 2014 the United Nations University estimates that 42 million metric tons of e-waste was discarded. And with growing numbers of people falling into the middle income category, the sales of devices will continue to skyrocket.
That is a major problem, as electrical components are often toxic and non-degradable making the need for eco-friendly replacements a major global priority.
Research led by Xinlong Wang published in the ACS’ journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research revealed a breakthrough has been made. Combining a common bioplastic derived from corn starch with an organic nanoparticle they produced a material that could be used in electronics.