Laptops contain many different types of interesting metals and metalloids, both outside and inside them.
The screen on a laptop can include metals, such as Indium, Gallium, and Arsenic. Many laptops are made of aluminum for light-weight, strength, and appearance. Steel is commonly used for structural support.
The internal motors of a laptop often contain tiny magnets comprised of Neodymium. Copper is also a substantial component used in wiring on circuits boards and connecting electrical components. Solder, which is often used on motherboards of many electronics, is made up of multiple metals, such as Tin and Bismuth. The microchips, often found in a laptop, are manufactured by Silicon.
A few electronic components often have minute qualities of precious metals, such as Gold and Platinum.
Although we use the battery of a laptop continuously, it can often be extremely hazardous. If leaked, it can release many toxic chemicals, which are highly flammable. These chemicals include acid, lead, nickel, lithium, cadmium, alkaline, mercury and nickel metal hydride. When batteries are not disposed properly, they can disintegrate and the toxic chemicals within can percolate into the environment.
Brominated Flame Retardants (BFR) are hazardous to not only the environment, but humans and animals, as well. BFR's are mixtures of man-made chemicals that are added to a wide variety of products, including for industrial use, to make them less flammable. Many organizations all around the world are focused on promoting Bromine-free companies.
However, Gold and Platinum can be reused. The precious metals are occasionally used in the internal motors of a laptop. When one throws a laptop away, the Gold and Platinum inside of it is often reused by miners. Many artists take advantage of it, as well. Jewelry can often be made out of old laptop keys, circuit boards, and computer memory cards (RAM).
Indium is a metal that was accidentally discovered by Ferdinand Reich, in 1863. Specimens of uncombined Indium are very rarely found in Russia.
Gallium is found through electrolysis of a solution of Gallium Hydroxide (Ga(OH)3) in Potassium Hydroxide (KOH).
Gold can be found through out Earth and the sea. Most gold mines are located in Australia. Nevada is known as the top gold producing state in The United States Of America.
Arsenic is mostly found in conjunction with Sulfur, in materials such as Arsenopyrite (AsFeS), Realgar, Orpiment, and Enargite. A small amount of uncombined Arsenic occurs naturally as microcrystalline masses, found in Siberia, Germany, France, Italy, Romania, and the USA.
Tin is mainly found in the ore cassiterite, known as Malaysia, Bolivia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Nigeria. It was obtained commercially, by reducing ore with coal in a reverbaratory surface.
Bismuth is a rare metal found in Earth's crust, at about the same abundance as Silver. It almost never occurs in it's native state. Bismuth is usually associated with Copper, Lead, Tin, Wolfram, Silver, and Gold ores. Bismuth is a majorly produced by Peru, Japan, Mexico, Bolivia, and Canada.
Neodymium is never found in nature as a free element, however, it does occur in ores, such as Monazite and Bastnasite, which contain small amounts of all rare Earth metals. Neodymium can be found in China, USA, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, and Australia.
Platinum is a metal which occurs freely in nature. It is sometimes found in deposits of gold-bearing sands, primarily those found in the Ural mountains, Columbia, and Western USA.
Copper is first found in an ore, then is put through a series of processes to refine and purify it. The largest Copper mine is found in Utah. Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, and Montana are major producers of Copper, as well.
Today, Nickel is mostly obtained from the mineral, Pentlandite. Most of the world's supply of Nickel is mined in the Sudbury region of Ontario, Canada.
Silicon makes up 25.7% of Earth's crust. It is found largely as it oxides, such as Sand (Silica), Quartz, Rock Crystal, Amethyst, Agate, Flint, Jasper, and Opal.
Aluminum is the most abundant metal in Earth's crust, but is never found freely in nature. All of Aluminum is used to form compounds, such as Potassium Aluminum Sulfate (KAl(SO4)12H2O) and Aluminum Oxide (Al2O3).
Overall, laptops are fairly recyclable, however, there are some parts of a laptop that are not. Alloys are rather difficult to recycle. Although, recyclability depends on the company the laptop is from, Electronic Waste (E-waste) has become a serious concern. Thankfully, batteries, motherboards, and metal chassis are highly recycle. When recycling these parts, they are often given to an organization which promotes the reduction of E-waste. Companies such as, Apple and Dell use recyclable plastics, and also reuse old chassis' to refurbish damaged computers.
The average use for a laptop lasts for about 4 years, if it stays in good condition. Depending on the company, 3 years is advisable before the battery life begins to come across problems. Once the battery begins to wear out, the laptop usually lasts for 3-6 months before replaced.
Laptops are mostly used in Japan, where technology is amazingly advanced. South Korea is least involved with the usage of laptops.
There are many societal advantages that come along with advanced technology, like laptops. Laptops make it easier for individuals to rediscover old relationships with people, or even build new ones through social applications. Laptops also encourage creativity and innovation. They challenge the brain, which causes one to think at their full potential. Easy access to information is also a major advantage with laptops. Not only students, but anyone can access education through technology.
However, there are a few disadvantages that come along with laptops, as well. Laptops, or technology for that matter, are often the causes of loneliness. Individuals become to attached to their laptops, that they forget to go out and be physically social. This causes loss of relationships, which often results in loneliness. Individuals can often rely on laptops too much. Due to having everything the touch of a button, people often feel uneasy when they can not use their laptops and are forced to use less advanced things, such as calculators.
Laptops have many advantages in the life of a businessman, as well. They are light-weight, easily accessible, and great for presentations. The government relies on them heavily, as well. They are able to memorize a good amount of information, which is very useful for a majority of business reasons.
However, information can often be accidentally lost by a laptop. Laptops often tend to have too much information stored in them, which can result in a lot of it being misplaced.
While laptops have several problematic aspects, they are significantly greener than desktop computers. Desktops use much more electricity and therefore produce more carbon per hour than laptops. Desktops are also larger by weight, so they use up more resources. As long as the potentially toxic components of laptops, which are usually concentrated in the battery, are carefully managed in recycling programs, laptops are an environmentally preferential choice to full-size desktop computers.
Making a laptop requires several environmentally unfriendly resources, most notably, rare-earth metals. These materials are mined in China, which has lax standards on environmental protection but produces 97% of the world's rare-earths supply. Laptops also contain potentially dangerous lead in their batteries as well as Polyvinyl Chloride in wire coatings, which can emit toxic dioxin if burned. Laptops do not consume much electricity, but they still have a carbon footprint. The University of Pennsylvania estimates that, depending on the model, laptops usually consume between 20 and 50 watts per hour of moderate activity.
Laptops have changed the world, drastically. Because of the advanced abilities of laptops, humans have easy access to almost any type of information, right at their fingertips. Before technology was so advanced, people had to pay millions for education. Now that we have laptops, the answers to any possible question one can have are right in front of us. Education is a very important thing that we can now get ourselves, just by using a laptop.
Laptops have also made it easier to individuals to reconnect with one another, no matter how far away. Laptops can be used to access applications, such as dating sites, video calling sites, Facebook, and much more. People can talk from miles away, but be face to face. Technology has created a virtual world, in which everything is reachable at the touch of a button. Distance has no meaning, thanks to laptops!
Laptops are much lighter in weight, compared to desktop computers. They are easy to carry around and don't require a lot of effort while transporting to places. Before laptops were this advanced, individuals were required to own a desk top computer, which was only accessible at a certain location. Thanks to modern technology, today, laptops are easily carried to any location, which is strongly helpful for business men/women.