Cellulose could help tackle the problem of consumer electronics sustainability
Sustainability has long been a problem for the consumer electronics industry, and the electronics industry generally. A range of problems, from the sourcing of particular materials to the issue of planned obsolescence, have caused frustration for end users. But the pressure is mounting to find ways of tackling this problem and to make sustainability a top priority. It’s now believed that this could come in the form of cellulose in electronics manufacturing processes.
How cellulose can be harnessed
Cellulose is the main component that’s found in the cell walls of plants. It’s also now believed, thanks to extensive research in Sweden, that cellulose is capable of being used to create sustainable alternatives to lithium-batteries. In essence, this would mean creating a whole new way of storing energy.
It’s something that, in theory, all kinds of electronic devices will be able to take advantage of. Not only will it mean devices being manufactured in more sustainable ways, but the process of sourcing the necessary materials will become a lot less environmentally damaging as well.
This is definitely a cause of celebration as it’ll mean that devices can be made sustainable without costs having to rise. For businesses, this is a big deal. All businesses want to improve and reduce their impact on the environment, but it’s much easier to do so if a cost effective alternative is available. Cellulose just might be that alternative.
Electronics waste is a growing problem
Anyone running a business that relies on technology or anyone who uses a lot of technology at home knows that it’s all too easy to get through devices quickly. That can happen when technology advances and improved devices become available.
The UN believes that 40 to 50 million tons of electrical waste are generated around the world each and every year. And the waste that this creates often ends up in environmentally damaging landfill sites in poor countries, often in places such as Ghana.
Product durability matters
Durability is one of the things that has a big impact on the churn and disposal of electronics. When devices become broken or simply obsolete, they get thrown into landfill, creating ever more problems. There are ways in which durability can be enhanced though.
Developing new technologies, as is the aim with this research into cellulose and energy storage, can increase durability. It’s also possible to rent test equipment and understand and potentially enhance a device’s lifespan that way as well.
The future of environmentally-friendly electronics
Because cellulose is plant-based, using it to create electronic devices will be a step in the right direction in terms of environmental friendliness and sustainability.
Energy storage and its role in electronics could be entirely revolutionised if this research into cellulose conitures to yield such positive and promising results. It could be the first step towards a much more sustainable industry.
Consumer electronics are going to become more sustainable and eco-friendly in the years and decades ahead of us. It’s one of the industry’s major focuses right now, and the news about the future use of cellulose emphasizes that point.