LCD panels are crucial to adoption of most mobile technology. Without LCD panels we would probably be stuck with mobile devices that still look a lot like the Compaq Portable. Engadget points us to a video from the EngineerGuy, aka Bill Hammack which does a great job of explaining how a LCD panel works and what backlights, light diffusion and subpixels have to do with viewing talking dogs your new iPad.
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The researchers believe that polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA), one of the materials used in polarizing films on the front and back of LCD displays, can be transformed into pills, dressings, and even a substance used in tissue scaffolds to help body parts regenerate. PVA isn’t normally used in these applications, but the researchers have figured out that it doesn’t provoke an immune system response, so it could be used in any number of medical settings.
The process for recycling PVA is simple according to the article. The process for creating “expanded PVA” suitable for medical use, invloves dousing the material in water, microwaving it, and then washing it in ethanol.
The research “Expanding the potential for waste polyvinyl-alcohol” can be found on the Green Chemistry website. is by five academics in the University’s Department of Chemistry. Professor James Clark, director of the York Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence and one of the author’s of the research, told EurekaAlert “It is important that we find ways of recycling as many elements of LCDs as possible so we don’t simply have to resort to burying and burning them.”