A Conductive Biodegradable Organic material for a new paradigm of sustainable electronics that can be grown and manufactured using naturally available abundant elements.
The world is running out of copper. The volume of electronic waste generated worldwide is expected to climb by 33 percent by the end of 2017 to 65 million tons, according to a study conducted by a partnership of United Nations organizations, industry, governments and scientists. Currently, circuit boards and copper pathways are manufactured, used, then partially recycled or thrown away after use. With our solution we wanted to create a new era of sustainable electronics that will alleviate pressure from the impending raw materials crisis and reduce electronic waste.
We found a system to grow a non-metallic conductive organic hybrid material. Using a bioreactor, we have managed to grow a living, organic hybrid material. By raising living biologicals in the proper environments and solutions we managed to maintain a hospitable environment while imbuing the organic material with conductive properties.y. Even once the material is dried, it retains the property to conduct electricity.
When we replaced copper wire with our material it conducted electricity, while it has a higher resistance than copper, we believe the other material benefits as well as sustainability factors negate this. We have successfully transmitted analog audio and HD Video through our wire as well as plain electricity for many other low voltage applications.
- Client: Orgatronics (Startup)
- Technology/Medium: Synthetic Biology, Experimentation, Mechatronics
- Lead Scientist/Engineer
- Co-Lead Industrial Designer
- The approach taken to develop the technology for this project was completely experimental. Utilizing the RCA EXP method melded with the scientific method.
- We have been working on this project since September 2015. We have approached this from an experimental point of view, where we have done more than 100 experiments with different natural materials and elements. We have managed to create a basic circuit out of our material, proved that we can grow organic circuit elements in specific meaningful patterns, and have shown that those elements are self-healing.
- We created the first prototype batch of our material and tested that out under different circumstances. Currently we are growing our second prototype batch with different proportions of the ingredients. The current prototype is tested out by passing current by placing it in different basic circuits. It successfully can carry meaningful data like sound, signals, video, electricity, etc.
- The next steps are further perfecting the ratio of materials and biologicals in the reactors. We want to increase conductivity and lower resistance.
Concept Vision Video