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Scientists Turn Used LCDs Into Medicine

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the waste-not-want-not dept.

Medicine 30

schliz writes "Scientists from the University of York have come up with a new recycling technique that extracts PVA from used LCD panels to create a 'a bioactive sponge.' The technique could allow recovered PVA to be used in pills, wound dressings and tissue scaffolds that aid human tissue regeneration. It could also keep waste LCD screens from incineration or landfill altogether."

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So, which do you want? (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786281)

The red pill, the blue pill...or the green pill?

Re:So, which do you want? (4, Funny)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#28787449)

Does that mean I can either keep living the dream, see how far the rabbit whole goes, or take the placebo?

Re:So, which do you want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28791861)

What, I can't take all three and have true colour?

Response times (0)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786283)

Do LCDs with faster response times improve the speed of the medical applications too?

Re:Response times (3, Interesting)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 5 years ago | (#28788749)

Undoubtedly meant to be funny, but the serious answer is no. What they're using is PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol). An LCD panel has a polarizer on the front and back, and a layer of PVA is what actually does the polarizing. The polarizers are pretty much the same regardless of the response time... :-)

No need to RTFA. (0, Redundant)

wangahrah (898109) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786427)

I'll tell you right now. They turn them with SCIENCE!!!

Re:No need to RTFA. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28787831)

I'll tell you right now. They turn them with SCIENCE!!!

What a strange name for a holy symbol. Does it give a bonus to the turn attempt or to the number of undead affected?

Re:No need to RTFA. (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28789013)

I'll tell you right now. They turn them with SCIENCE!!!

What a strange name for a holy symbol. Does it give a bonus to the turn attempt or to the number of undead affected?

Only psionic liches, but them it really messes up. They can't even bend a spoon when it's around.

What? (3, Interesting)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786467)

So they are just salvaging the non-toxic readily bio-degradable glue from the panels?
Then what happens to the rest of the toxic non bio-degradable materials they claim will be prevented from entering the landfills/incinerators?

Re:What? (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786591)

I know it's anathema to some, but please RTFA. There's a qualifier in TFA that submitter left out (emphasis mine):

Coupled with current recycling methods, the technique could entirely prevent old LCD TVs, laptops and computer monitors from being incinerated or added to landfills.

For some snark: That's mostly because current recycling methods are largely composed of shipping the parts to third-world countries where they burn them (NOT in an incinerator) to extract heavy metals.

Seriously, though, if this process does truly result in a significant market for recycling process outputs, it could help make recycling old monitors economically sound. I suspect, however, that it will still be cheaper to make the PVA byproduct from scratch, and ship monitors to developing nations for scrapping.

Re:What? (2, Interesting)

budgenator (254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28788335)

I use the stuff at work, it's available in various industrial, technical and even in food grades and not particularly expensive. It's also the primary ingredient in Slime [lapeer.org] a substance without which the Nickelodeon network could not exist.

Excuse me? (0, Redundant)

hurfy (735314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786481)

""What we're doing is diverting a resource from landfill or incineration and treating it with green technology.""

Umm, they extract a chemical by using an ethanol bath and microwaves or something like that. The rest of the monitor just magically disappears?!? Wasn't there an issue with the mercury and stuff in some of them, i don't see how this cures that issue either. I don't think the big issue was the 'glue' they are extracting is it?

Re:Excuse me? (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786537)

...I don't think the big issue was the 'glue' they are extracting is it?

Nope, the glue PVA is apparently non toxic and quickly decomposes

PVA is the main ingredient in Elmer's glue.... (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786525)

You know, the white glue that is safe enough to let kids use it in kindergarten?

How much energy will need to be expended to divert such a semingly benign substance from the waste stream, and could they get a better "bang for the buck" by focusing the recycling effort elsewhere?

Re:PVA is the main ingredient in Elmer's glue.... (1)

bdrees (1015815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786997)

From the Article
"In terms of cost, we're not looking at this as a commercial venture," he told iTnews.

"What we're doing is diverting a resource from landfill or incineration and treating it with green technology."

This then poses the question, if it can't be done cost effectivly, why bother?

Re:PVA is the main ingredient in Elmer's glue.... (1)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 5 years ago | (#28788959)

That's an interesting claim. According to the manufacturer [elmers.com] "The exact formula and specific ingredients used in making Elmer's products are considered proprietary information, therefore, we cannot share those with you."

In any case, the PVA in an LCD panel is not as an ingredient in glue. It's used to build polarizers [uspto.gov] .

Re:PVA is the main ingredient in Elmer's glue.... (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28793277)

It's a common ingredient in most(if not all) formulations of white glue and wood glue. Plus there are lots of other industrial uses (eye drops, polarizing light, molding of fiberglass or carbon-fiber, etc). They sell it as a kids toy too as this weird rubbery putty (not silly putty) that is sticky usually called "slime" but it is fairly firm and smells atrocious.

I need to get my eyes checked (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786597)

I thought they were turning LSD into medicine.

Re:I need to get my eyes checked (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28786625)

It already is, man...

Re:I need to get my eyes checked (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28788229)

You jest, but there were (seriouspsychological studies performed in the sixties and seventies whose results suggested that LSD and other psychedelic drugs, when used in a clinical setting with proper setup and safeguards, resulted in tremendous healing of long-standing psychological conditions. Some doctors went so far as to claim that a single session using LSD provided the kind of breakthroughs that normally come only after years of therapy. Thus, LSD, like marijuana, is a Schedule I drug because its legitimate medical use was buried before more studies could be performed.

It's enough to make a man paranoid.

Good thing I collect laptop screens.... (2, Funny)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786785)

Good thing I collect laptop screens because when the Rapture comes and Jesus shows up and inflicts a mortal wound on me I can shove a shard of a LCD screen into my wound and it will keep me alive long enough to ask his forgiveness.

Re:Good thing I collect laptop screens.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28790791)

You a rabid atheist by any chance?

PVA only? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28786991)

My screen is an S-IPS, you ignorant clod!

Cool (1)

Merc248 (1026032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28787239)

Thankfully, I've been meaning to eat monitors for a while, so this is only good news.

Re:Cool (1)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 5 years ago | (#28788803)

The bad news is that the LC material itself is very similar to some known carcinogens...

Buy your medicine at Best Buy... (1)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 5 years ago | (#28787257)

... and the sales staff can push Monster Cable HDMI cords compatible with your medication dose!

Not sure why this is so awesome. (1)

ramk13 (570633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28787951)

Not sure why this is so awesome, because PVA isn't really the problem with LCD disposal. It's metals (mercury) and other semiconductor associated contaminants. It's like recycling the steel lid of a hazardous waste container...

That and PVA is pretty cheap (see elmer's glue). Also it might be a while before recycled materials are acceptable for pharmaceutical uses.

I was just researching PVA (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28788177)

I wanted to know where to buy it in order to make some slime. It is easy to find on the internet, but hard to find in a meat-world store.

Strange to see it now being taken from laptops and used for medicinal purposes.

PVA? Pssh. Try PVC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28788317)

All of the real /.er's are using PVC, after a brief transition through PVB. I still can't wait for PVD to come to fruition.

We actually use ink jet printers to run screens to (2, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28788817)

A lot of scientific research labs use interesting things to get valid scientific results.

We use ink jet print heads to dispense accurate amounts of reagants for biochemical screens, for example.

Wait until you find out that we can put a device in your wrist to measure your glucose level via a wristwatch so you don't have to prick yourself to control diabetes. That one is a real trip. It actually charges itself from the wristwatch, so it can literally run for decades.

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