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Scientists Use Mushrooms to Make Biodegradable Computer Chips

MNK Blog

Scientists Use Mushrooms to Make Biodegradable Computer Chips

The Future Of Computer Chips

Hello Tech Lovers!

The skin from the stems of a mushroom could potentially offer a sustainable alternative to insulative substrates in computing chips.

Scientists are looking at alternatives to common components like the mircochip, as production of electronic devices increases. Peeling the skin from the mycelium of a mushroom can protect chips from heat up to 392°F (200°C.)

The equivalent of the scale of ewaste produced each year

Scientists from Johannes Kepler University in Austria, discovered that once dried, the skin was found to be not only heat resistant, but lasted for years – withstanding being bent and folded thousands of times without wearing or tearing.

The fungus, Ganoderma lucidum grows on dead rotting wood in European mountains. As it reaches maturity, it creates a fibrous skin to protect its own substrate which if peeled, can be used to protect microchips.

Currently computing chip bases tend to be made with un-recyclable plastic materials and the increase of electronic devices has not been paired with an increase in their lifespan. Throwing them away is more economical for users than replacing individual parts. “The vast number of devices produced every day along with the decrease of their lifetime inevitably results in the generation of enormous amounts of electronic waste,” wrote the authors of a paper published in Science Advances.

“Circular economy and recycling concepts alone cannot solve the growing waste crisis. Electronics research, and especially electronic materials research, thus must shift its focus from strictly high-functionality concepts to sustainable, cost-effective approaches.”

Read the full report here

Read the related blog post, ‘Over 50 Million Tonnes Of Electrical Waste Is Produced Each Year here

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Adam – MNK Founder