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Circuit boards made from mushrooms save electronic waste

Circuit boards made from mushrooms save electronic waste

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Almost every electronic device has a circuit board inside which components are connected. Recycling these components is certainly beneficial, but it is difficult to separate them from plastic circuit boards. At the university, they are now working on circuit boards made from mushrooms instead of plastic.

1.2 million tons of electronic waste is currently not recycled and must be treated as hazardous waste because separating plastic circuit boards from electronic components is very difficult and therefore very expensive. Martin Kaltenbrunner, head of the Department of Soft Materials Physics at JKU, now wants to solve this problem using biodegradable circuit boards. In collaboration with colleagues from the Soft Materials Laboratory at Linz University, Kaltenbrunner's team is working on circuit boards that use materials made from fungi instead of previous plastics.

The European Union contributes to the costs

These circuit boards can easily end up in landfills and will dissolve without leaving a toxic residue. Even when burned, no harmful substances are released. The research project has now made such successful progress that the European Union is also contributing €150,000 towards the costs.

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