Waste from disassembled mobile phones

Waste from disassembled mobile phones

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This image is part of the feature Mobiles Phone Recycling

Credit: JERRY MASON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mobile phone components from disassembled phones. Dismantling old electronic devices for recycling is slow and expensive. Researchers at Brunel University, UK, are building self-disassembling devices, using components that contain shape memory polymers (SMPs). These plastics change shape when heated to a trigger temperature, causing the device to break apart. This process (Active Disassembly using Smart Materials, ADSM), will speed recycling, allowing retrieval of valuable components and materials and disposal of toxic chemicals. The trigger temperatures of components will vary, allowing disassembly in controlled stages. Photographed in 2002.

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