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Degradable electronic components created from corn starch

Date:
April 19, 2017
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
As consumers upgrade their gadgets at an increasing pace, the amount of electronic waste we generate continues to mount. To help combat this environmental problem, researchers have modified a degradable bioplastic derived from corn starch or other natural sources for use in more eco-friendly electronic components.
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As consumers upgrade their gadgets at an increasing pace, the amount of electronic waste we generate continues to mount. To help combat this environmental problem, researchers have modified a degradable bioplastic derived from corn starch or other natural sources for use in more eco-friendly electronic components. They report their development in ACS' journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

In 2014, consumers around the world discarded about 42 million metric tons of e-waste, according to a report by the United Nations University. This poses an environmental and human threat because electronic products are made up of many components, some of which are toxic or non-degradable. To help address the issue, Xinlong Wang and colleagues sought to develop a degradable material that could be used for electronic substrates or insulators.

The researchers started with polylactic acid, or PLA, which is a bioplastic that can be derived from corn starch or other natural sources and is already used in the packaging, electronics and automotive industries. PLA by itself, however, is brittle and flammable, and doesn't have the right electrical properties to be a good electronic substrate or insulator. But the researchers found that blending metal-organic framework nanoparticles with PLA resulted in a transparent film with the mechanical, electrical and flame retardant properties that make the material a promising candidate for use in electronics.


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Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xiaowei Shi, Xiu Dai, Yu Cao, Jiawei Li, Changan Huo, Xinlong Wang. Degradable Poly(lactic acid)/Metal–Organic Framework Nanocomposites Exhibiting Good Mechanical, Flame Retardant, and Dielectric Properties for the Fabrication of Disposable Electronics. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2017; 56 (14): 3887 DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.6b04204

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American Chemical Society. "Degradable electronic components created from corn starch." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170419100834.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2017, April 19). Degradable electronic components created from corn starch. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170419100834.htm
American Chemical Society. "Degradable electronic components created from corn starch." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170419100834.htm (accessed April 26, 2017).