Gallery: New Wooden RFID Tags Could Reduce Illegal Logging

 

Trees, like animals, get tagged with radio chips: the chips help timber companies keep track of their product and fight illegal logging. Unfortunately, metal RFID chips damage the goods — a problem the European research institute Fraunhofer has solved with a wood radio chip. The chip contains a tiny metal antenna that emits its signal; however the amount of metal is so small that it has a negligible effect on the lumber’s quality. The rest of the radio-frequency identification tag is made of lignin, which is derived from the cell walls of plants.

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