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Smartphones... a dying breed

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Been reading a few articles recently about how smartphone production is gradually eating up all the world's reserves of specific elements. The average smartphone uses 62 of the naturally-occurring stable elements. one example: Dysprosium which is THE essential ingredient in touchscreen manufacture, is expected to run out completely between 2020 and 2050. This raises a few important questions in terms of our attitude to these devices and the life-expectancy of the devices themselves.


I think if I had any kind of capability in this area I would be looking at devising methods and technology to recover the constituent elements from those phones. I can't believe that they are all lost forever lost once they are in there... I know you can't get the eggs out of a cake after the cake has been baked but you can extract the cherries...    

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