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The Role of Bio-based Materials and Additive Manufacturing in Achieving Sustainability Goals for Electronics

The Role of Bio-based Materials and Additive Manufacturing in Achieving Sustainability Goals for Electronics
Jesper Edberg

RISE

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The Role of Bio-based Materials and Additive Manufacturing in Achieving Sustainability Goals for Electronics

Electronic waste (e-waste) poses a pressing global challenge with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting a staggering annual generation that exceeds 50 million tonnes. Less than 20% of this waste is recycled, highlighting severe environmental and health risks associated with the disposal of hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and flame retardants. This challenge is further compounded by the overreliance of the global economy on rare earth elements and critical raw materials. Addressing this crisis requires a concerted effort to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), which emphasizes reducing waste generation and promoting sustainable practices. Achieving this goal requires a paradigm shift in the electronics industry. Our course delves into the urgent need for sustainable materials and manufacturing methods within electronics. We explore alternatives to synthetic, often non-sustainable materials like PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) which persist in the environment and harm ecosystems. - Enter biobased materials—nature-inspired alternatives: Derived from renewable sources like trees, plants and algae, these materials offer a greener path. We’ll explore their properties, applications, and potential to revolutionize electronic design. - Additive Manufacturing and Printed Electronics: Create intricate electronic components layer by layer, minimizing waste and energy consumption for thin flexible solar panels, printed circuit boards, sensors, displays and more. We explore how these innovative techniques can reduce environmental impact. Join us on this journey toward sustainable electronics. Let’s design a future where innovation meets responsibility.

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