Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison just unveiled a design for a series of biodegradable computer chips that are made almost entirely of wood. There is currently an immense need for a more sustainable way of manufacturing computer chips due to the staggering amount of electronic waste that is accumulating each year. A biodegradable chip is therefore a clever new way of trying to cut back on electronic waste.
Researchers designed the new part by replacing the support layer of the computer chip with a cellulose nanofibril material that is made of wood. Not only does the material make the computer chip stronger and more flexible, but cellulose nanofibril is also completely biodegradable. The researchers argue that once the chips have expended their use, they will be safe enough to be used as a form of natural fertilizer.
Testing also shows that these biodegradable computer chips perform just as well as other computer parts, making them a practical, yet environmentally friendly option for consumers.