CES 2008: Fujitsu Shows Off Biodegradable Notebook

Well, partly biodegradable; strictly speaking.

Off all the bizarre things I’ve spotted coming out of CES this year, this may well be the one that best combines the dual aspects of being both insane and also (probably) likely to sell when it hits the market. The product I’m talking about is Fujitsu’s biodegradable notebook, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Well almost, it is actually a notebook with a casing that after a bit of industrial processing can be chucked away, but it is a step in the right direction.

Rather than the petroleum derived plastics used in normal laptop casings (unless you’re a flash git and have a carbon fibre laptop) Fujitsu is using a corn-derived substitute for these systems called polylactic acid (PLA). Keeping it simple (because I’m happy to admit I don’t understand the complicated bits) the PLA is able to be substituted for petroleum. Unfortunately, for those hoping for a fully biodegradable laptop the material still has some petroleum in its makeup to provide strength and rigidity. More importantly many parts, such as batteries and LCD screens are still packed full of decidedly non-degradable silicon and lithium, which no-one would class as environmentally friendly.

For the green minded, though, this will certainly be considered a step in the right direction and after processing the majority of the material can be disposed of in an lovely green fashion. No more information is given about any timescale for these notebooks finding their way onto the market nor if a price premium is likely.


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