Researchers from the Young Investigator Network at Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) are building towards a future where gadgets and electronics are just as compostable as banana peels and old coffee grounds. The team have managed to develop printed electronics using compostable materials.

Electronics are usually made out of silicon, heavy metals and other elements, often with high toxicity, that take a long time to degrade or break down in landfills. The KIT researchers have designed electronics using semiconductors made out of plant extracts and insulators created using gelatin.

Licensed under CC - credit Flickr user: Dieter R
Licensed under CC – credit Flickr user: Dieter R

The full business and economic potential of this technological development is yet to become clear. A time when electronic products thrown out with the bio waste or composted is probably still a long way off.

However, the researchers are already planning ambitiously with a goal of having products ready for suppliers and to go on the shelves for sale within three years.

Source: Compostable electronics could ease the e-waste problem

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