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Graduate Students Create Recyclable Laptop

Chronicle of Higher Education (11/24/10) Paige Chapman

Graduate students at Stanford University and Aalto University have created a prototype of a recyclable laptop that can be disassembled in about 30 seconds.  The Bloom laptop is almost entirely made of components that can be recycled with other household materials, while the liquid crystal display screen and circuitboard can be separated and sent to specialized recycling facilities.  “I think where the group really nailed it on the head is where they tried to understand how to modify consumer behavior in a way that would promote green thinking,” says Stanford’s John Feland.  The team found that an ordinary laptop, with an average lifespan of about two years, took an average of 45 minutes and 120 steps to take apart.  These discoveries inspired the researchers to simplify the laptop design by creating pieces that could slide or snap apart, says Stanford’s Aaron Engel-Hall.  The Bloom design also makes it easier to replace individual parts, instead of forcing consumers to buy a whole new machine if one component breaks down, Feland says.


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