Images via Griffith University
Two Australian engineers have taken a sharp look at the problems of e-waste and have come up with a solution that could make a big difference - circuits in plastic. Professor David Thiel and MadhusudanRao Neeli at the facult of engineering and information technology at Griffith University in Brisbane have worked out a way to make circuits that will take green electronics to a whole new level.
It's not just another small stride in computer technology, or green as a by-product of research that hoped to solve other issues. Thiel and Neeli looked specifically at the problem of e-waste and wanted to work out an answer. Their circuits in plastic technology may be just the solution.
The Cicuits in Plastics technology creates circuits made from recycled plastic. They have a variety of green benefits, including that they don't contain hazardous substances, and excess packaging is eliminated since the packaging is part of the base circuit board.
Applicable to a wide range of circuits for both design and functionality, the circuits can be used with recycled and biodegradable plastics, and help eliminate many of the toxins used in the manufacturing process. Plus, as ComputerWorld points out, the circuits are waterproof, which would be a boon for protecting devices like mobile phones from shorting out when they fall victim to a rain shower or spilled drink. Plus, recyclability and avoiding e-waste is a big, big bonus.
Thiel states: "At the end of the circuit's life the components are mechanically disassembled and recycled which means a lower carbon footprint compared with the shredding and incineration of traditional circuits."
Griffith University provides further details of the research. With all the potential benefits of this technology, seeing it come to fruition and being used in electronics is an exciting prospect.