Cellulose: A Contribution for the Zero e‐Waste Challenge

Author: Suman Nandy
Co-Authors: Suman Nandy, Sumita Goswami, Ana Marques, Diana Gaspar, Paul Grey, Inês Cunha, Daniela Nunes, Ana Pimentel, Rui Igreja, Pedro Barquinha, Luís Pereira, Elvira Fortunato, Rodrigo Martins

DOI: DOI: 10.3390/nano11112785

The world in the 21st century is confronted with multifaceted challenges against rapid climate change and continuous ecological disturbances caused by revolutionary socio-economic developments, accelerated expansion of disposable electronic gadgets, and growing dependence on unrecyclable raw materials, among others. The ever-increasing consumer demand for electronic devices is significantly contributing to the world's fastest-growing waste stream, known as electronic waste (e-waste), which is becoming an environmental threat at an alarming rate due to its toxic legacy. The ever-shortening lifespan of smart technologies has created a “tsunami of e-waste,” as the United Nations has characterized it, with 50 million tons accumulated each year, of which only 20% undergo formal e-recycling. Therefore, the challenge of optimizing the current resources management models with an aim of improving the manufacturing processes and lifecycles of electronic devices, as well as building a circular economy, has become significantly prominent. Paper/cellulose, which covers a wide range of essential needs in everyday scenarios (from packaging to writing utilities), constitutes promising candidates for the effective achievement of a circular economy. Particularly, cellulose is revealed as an advantageous material for electronic applications because of its abundant availability, which contributes to its cost-effectiveness, straightforward fabrication process, and high recyclability and reproducibility.

Link: Cellulose: A Contribution for the Zero e‐Waste Challenge - Nandy - 2021 - Advanced Materials Technologies - Wiley Online Library

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