by , 01/09/08

FUJITSU ANNOUNCES LAPTOP MADE FROM CORN, Fujitsu Corn based biopolymer laptop casing, Jill Fehrenbacher, CES, Consumer Electronics Show, Fujitsu Corn Laptop

Laptops have a long way to go in order to really go green, but Fujitsu has certainly made an interesting attempt with their new corn-based polymer laptop. Launching at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Fujitsu is finally bringing to the US market a laptop with a casing made out of corn. In case you’re wondering, this biopolymer is based on the same PLA components that are becoming more common for biodegradable plastic beverage cups.

The main component is polylactic acid, also known as PLA, a resin that comes from the fermentation of the raw biomass from plants. PLA by itself is biodegradable, does not generate dioxin when burnt, or other harmful gases. Unfortunately the material still needs a small amount of fossil fuel for it to be able to be used as a laptop housing. However, the PLA-based plastic can be processed after the end of use of the product and by doing so, the corn-based component can safely degrade.

This product does offer a net benefit to the environment, considering the large amounts of heavy metals in a regular machines. Hopefully in the future Fujitsu can adapt this technology to completely eliminate the need of the use of petroleum. For those of you interested in some light reading, follow the link below for some further information on the plastics used in the product.

+ Gadgets go green at Electronics Show
+ Biobased polymers report @ Fujitsu (PDF)

+ Greener Gadgets Conference

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  1. bobylapointe April 15, 2011 at 5:11 am

    more corn it’s not like if all your food was base on it, now-on your products will be….
    i’ld like to see the impact of all the field needed on the ecosystem.

  2. paul urbanas January 13, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    where are we going to grow 80,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ears of corn to feed africa….. uh I mean grow our plastic?

  3. Charlie Blum January 10, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    The growing of corn is very petrochemically dependent, i.e. fertilizers that runoff and contaminate aquifers, i.e. the Mississippi River – this is like slapping a FLEXFUEL badge on a GM Yukon = lipstick on a pig

  4. Larry January 10, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Props to them for putting effort towards more sustainable products, but I have to wonder if it’s a good idea to further put our food supply in jeopardy. With E85 becoming more widespread and now a corn based polymer, eventually we won’t be able to produce enough corn to feed the nation and livestock, let alone make plastic. At least they are trying, however.

  5. Ben Schiendelman January 10, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    This is only workable with the massive US corn subsidies – and corn production in the US is decidedly not green.

  6. Marsupial Vomit January 10, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    If it has a defective battery and catches fire, does it smell like burnt popcorn?

  7. Cozmo January 10, 2008 at 2:22 am

    I’m not sure about this. Sounds corny to me. hehe..sorry, couldn’t resist.

  8. Arjibuh January 10, 2008 at 2:09 am

    What is that red and black thing holding the computer?

    I guess they admit now their computers don’t last long….

    (Still using my 2003 Fujitsu)

  9. PENIX January 10, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Is it really that much better than regular plastic? This case has to endure a lot of processing to change it from a corn cobb into a shiny piece of plastic. No real details were given. For all we know, the energy required to produce it may be much greater than the petroleum based version.

  10. The Smartest Man in the... January 10, 2008 at 12:39 am

    Hats of to Fujitsu! Agreed, there is still a long way to go, especially with computer products, but it’s a start.

  11. MacMan January 10, 2008 at 12:29 am

    To bad it doesn’t run OSX :(

  12. Mia January 9, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    That is a great first step, but efforts like this are only substantive if the manufacturer has also developed a program for reclaiming the product for disassembly and reprocessing at the end of its useful life.

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