A Laptop Made of Cornstarch

And biodegradable too

The green fever that touched the entire computer hardware industry is extending to laptop cases as well as the Japanese hardware manufacturing Fujitsu designed a laptop case for its LifeBook family of portable computers that is as green as it gets.

From household items that are environmentally friendly and biodegradable to biodegradable laptops casings and chassis there is one small step and Fujitsu decided to cover all its bases with the casing made of a type of plastic that is produced from cornstarch rather than petroleum. The manufacturing process needed to make this kind of plastic is more costly than the traditional oil to plastic process, but the end product is as green as we will ever see: put it away in a landfill and it will just disintegrate in a few months. In contrast, plastic made from oil will take some decades to go away.

Another good point for the corn to plastic manufacturing process is that it will cut some of the carbon emissions and according to some with as much as 15 percent. Laptop casings are not the first Fujitsu product to be made of biodegradable plastics as the company already used the very same type of material for cell phones and point-of-sale terminals. For now the green plastic is only available in Japan but it is hoped that it will soon arrive in Europe and United States. Its manufacturing cost may decline as more companies like Cereplast and Archer Daniels Midland become interested in the project and expand production.

It is not unusual for Japan to be the first country to adopt a new and more environmentally friendly material as their internal environmental program is quite aggressive and the energy efficiency programs are in full swing after the oil shock and pollution problems of the '70s. As a direct result of these policies and programs, Japan is one of the prime markets for solar power cells and related materials.

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