The fortune contained in your mobile phone

View Transcriptarrow

Across the world, people in their pockets right now, have got millions and millions of dollars worth of valuable elements, locked up in phone like these, just waiting to be reused when they reach the end of their lives. 

We want to be able to unlock this valuable elements, so we can reuse, reform, and transform them in so many exciting ways. 

So here we have a fragmenter, which is actualy pretty cool, because it applies high voltage to pull apart the components in our mobile phone.

So it is really like using a super powerful lightning bolt to seperate out the case, the glass, the circuit board in a nice clean way. 

Next up we have a drone. This has been programmed to identify a circuit board in a pile of waste. It then passes this information to our robot, which grabs a circuit board, ready for the next process.

We know that some of these elements will be very useful to us. So now it is time to move to the hot stage of the process. 

By selectively assigning the temperature conditions in this furnace, we can actually transform waste into different value-added products. 

Now imagine if these processes could be replicated all around the world in micro-factories. We could actually change cities and councils from warehouses of waste to warehouses of valuable elements. So we can have a future where everything around us is made from renewable materials. 

The growing … and growing … problem of e-waste

Latest videos

How fun with lasers led to a Nobel Prize

Video: How fun with lasers led to a Nobel Prize

Small devices solving big problems

Video: Small devices solving big problems

Year that was 2021 in science

Video: Year that was 2021 in science