More than 1.5 Bn smartphones are produced every year across the world. Several people are having more than one smartphone, but does anybody know what they are made of, from where does this material come from, and what can be the best thing to do with devices as we have more use for them?
Answers to all the questions are the emphasis of striking new project from researchers at Plymouth University.
By combining the complete mobile phone to dust, and then directing the chemical study of the dissolved outcomes, on hoping to determine to take a strong interest in what is present in the electrical products.
The quantities of so-called or rare ‘conflict’ elements that each phone is containing and influencing the huge recycling rates as the devices reach the end of their advantageous lives.
The project was mostly considered by Dr. Colin Wilkins and Dr. Arjan Dijkstra, geologists from the University School of Earth, Geography and Environmental Sciences, with the primary interest being generated by the growing reliance of high-tech regular items on infrequent mineral resources pushing the demands on the global mining industry.
Dr. Colin Wilkins and Dr. Arjan Dijkstra have worked in tandem with Devon-based Animation Company of Real World Visuals to generate a short video that validates the variety and amount of Earth’s resources used every year in the production of a mobile phone.
Lecturer in Igneous Petrology, Dr. Dijkstra, claimed that “We rely increasingly on mobile phones but how many of us actually think what is behind the screen? When you look the answer is often tungsten and cobalt from conflict zones in Africa. There are also rare elements such as neodymium, praseodymium, gadolinium and dysprosium, not to mention quantities of gold, silver and other high-value elements. All of these need to be mined by extracting high-value ores, which is putting a significant strain on the planet”.
For conducting the experiment, the scientists are taking the blended phone and assorted it at around 550°C with the strong oxidizer i.e. sodium peroxide. They were then capable of doing the complete study of the subsequent solution in acid to consider their accurate contents of a chemical.
On the other hand, it featured the critical elements amount involving more than 950mg of tungsten and 75mg of molybdenum and cobalt, along with 165mg of neodymium and 35mg of praseodymium. Whereas each and every phone contains 37mg of gold and 95mg of silver.
Professor in Economic Geology, Dr. Wilkins said that “Mining can be part of the solution to the world’s problems. But we are now in a climate where people are becoming more socially responsible and interested in the contents of what they are purchasing. Partly on the back of this, several of the major mobile phone companies have committed to upping their recycling rates. It is a positive sign that the throwaway society we have lived in for decades is changing, and we hope this project will encourage more people to ask questions about their own behaviors”.