Self-recycling mobile phone?

Self-recycling mobile phone?

The first mobile phone capable of recycling itself will shortly go on display at the Science Museum’s new contemporary science wing – the Wellcome Wing. The phone, which has been developed by engineers from Brunel University with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), may put an end to the mountain of waste mobile phones that we produce every year. Most mobile phones are dumped by their owners once they have reached the end of their shelf life but new legislation drawn up by European Union officials could force manufacturers to recycle many electronic gadgets, including phones.

The solution to this problem, it seems, may have been found.Taking mobile phones apart and hand sorting the pieces for recycling is expensive. This new type can be taken apart simply by heating it. The phone is made from special metals and plastics, each with a ‘memory’ of its original shape. When heated up they lose their shape and revert to the shape that they remember. The phone then simply pops apart ready for recycling. Pieces can be picked out for reuse and the parts containing toxins can be separated. Different parts are triggered to change shape at different temperatures, so that the phone falls apart in a controlled way. The research team hope to develop electronic products that would be able to ‘drop’ different parts as they pass along a conveyor belt and the heat is slowly increased.Designer Joe Chiodo said “Recyclable mobile phones could be in the shops by 2005 but they will only be a success if we can make them as cheap as other mobile phones.”

The first experimental mobile phone made from shape memory polymer will go on display to the public on July 3 in Antenna, a new exhibition in the Science Museum’s Wellcome Wing. Antenna will be updated on a monthly, weekly and even daily basis, presenting the latest science and technology news to the Museum’s visitor. The Wellcome Wing is the largest development in the Science Museum’s 150 year history and aims to be the world’s leading centre for the presentation of contemporary science

Ano da Publicação: 2002
Fonte: Warmer Bulletin Enews
Autor: Kit Strange, Editor, Warmer Bulletin
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