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Market Research Report

Toxic Materials and Alternatives in Electronics/ Electrics 2018-2028

Published by IDTechEx Ltd. Product code 609620
Published Content info 171 Slides
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Toxic Materials and Alternatives in Electronics/ Electrics 2018-2028
Published: February 28, 2018 Content info: 171 Slides

Toxic Materials and Alternatives in Electronics/ Electrics 2018-2028
Extra 10 billion+ dollar market emerging for non-toxic electrics.

Multi billion dollar new market

There is a flood of new electronic and electrical devices introducing toxins very similar to those in tobacco smoke and diesel fumes. Some will sell up to billions yearly. There is no tracking of what is arriving, assessing toxicity and likely prevalence. Uniquely, the new IDTechEx report, "Toxic Materials and Alternatives in Electronics/ Electrics 2018-2028" now does that. Coverage is wide ranging. Scan current and future devices and the toxins they will contain. Particularly it looks at use and abuse: there is also coverage of hazards of manufacture and disposal.

Nickel cadmium batteries were banned but toxic cadmium is reintroduced into daily life as huge sales of cadmium telluride photovoltaics on buildings and millions of quantum dot television sets. Peak lead acid battery occurs soon: the report says when. However, that toxic lead is reappearing this year in the first commercialisation of perovskite windows generating electricity, take off in sales of certain QLED TVs and in many new uses for lead zirconate titanate piezoelectrics. These are only a few examples for cadmium and lead and there are many more materials of concern, organic and inorganic appraised and tracked.

Time to pay attention. Indeed, the report describes many little known devices and research programs leading to alternatives and even many alternatives already on sale and gaining market share, sometimes aided by voluntary local bans on the toxic product. It recommends greater priority for these alternatives and a redirection of research funding.

This 170 page report has dense summaries and infograms revealing the breadth of adoption and planned adoption of physically and chemically toxic materials and particulates in electronics and electrical engineering. It even has a roadmap of introduction of toxins in electronics and electrics from 2018-2028.

The Executive Summary and Conclusions is comprehensive and sufficient in itself for those in a hurry. It identifies impending large sales and serious toxicity issues now and ahead from volume or virulence. Learn the lessons from the inadequate response to asbestos, tobacco and diesel in the past and in detail how most of those toxins and others are reappearing.

The report explains why toxicity measurements it lists are suspect. Moderate toxicity declared on mice when the substance of wrong morphology is administered in the wrong way for the wrong time and damage is measured after the wrong interval is no cause for humans to relax. 38 elements and compounds are tabled with toxicity, pathologies and devices where they are used or will be used and comments by suppliers.

The Introduction looks more closely at toxicity short lists and multiple modes of toxic action. Chapter 3 appraises materials being used in 37 families of emerging devices, 18 families of compound. It tables where they are and where they will be used in volume. The chemical elements of concern in overall electronics and electrics are compared. There are tables of inorganics, organics and where they will be used indicating levels of concern in the assessment of the authors. Allotropes of carbon are compared in likely popularity and issues. Lithium-ion batteries and quantum dots are singled out for closer analysis for reasons given.

Chapter 4 looks at the adoption of what are medically called surface irritants but are physically toxic materials that can often penetrate the human body and trigger changes leading to cancer and more. Although throughout the text there are alternatives given to the physical and chemical toxins appearing in or promised in electronic and electrical devices, Chapter 5 goes into depth on twelve other research programs of particular promise for toxin replacement in devices.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents


  • 1.1. Purpose of this report
    • 1.1.1. Overview
    • 1.1.2. Two toxicity actions in use and abuse
    • 1.1.3. Magnifying the toxicity risk: the case for caution with nanoparticles
  • 1.2. Usefulness of measurements
  • 1.3. Toxins of concern in electronics/ electrics and its abuse/ disposal
    • 1.3.1. Toxins of concern: primary conclusions
    • 1.3.2. No need for urgent recall of anything so far
    • 1.3.3. Acetonitrile should be banned from production
    • 1.3.4. Greater study, control and avoidance of toxins is appropriate
    • 1.3.5. Particularly watch chemically active toxins in electronics and electrics
    • 1.3.6. The case for banning acetonitrile
  • 1.4. Devices of concern and relatively non toxic alternatives: examples
  • 1.5. Toxins of concern in electronics/ electrics and its abuse/ disposal: examples
  • 1.6. Lessons from diesel for electronic and electrical devices
  • 1.7. Voluntary rejection of toxin use
  • 1.8. Timeline of planned introduction of toxins


  • 2.1. Definitions
    • 2.1.1. Toxicity
  • 2.2. Scale of the problem
    • 2.2.1. Potentially hazardous materials
    • 2.2.2. Multiple dangers of nanoparticles and lack of understanding


  • 3.1. Most important materials in emerging devices
  • 3.2. Most versatile materials for future electronics and electrics
  • 3.3. Fine metals and semiconductors that will be most widely used - survey result
  • 3.4. Fine inorganic compounds most widely needed - survey results
    • 3.4.1. Overview
    • 3.4.2. Quantum dots are a concern
  • 3.5. Inorganic compounds - detailed results for 37 families of device
    • 3.5.1. The 20 categories of chemical and physical property exploited by the key materials in the devices are identified
  • 3.6. Allotropes of carbon most widely needed - survey result
  • 3.7. Organic compounds most widely needed - survey results
    • 3.7.1. Organic compounds needed in future electronics and electrics
  • 3.8. Less prevalent or less established organic formulations The following are not in our survey but are examples of organic formulations occasionally in new electronics and electrics.
  • 3.9. Energy harvesting options: toxins of interest FP = fluoropolymers PTFE FEP PVDF. Most serious concern is GaAs and Pb, little per device but potentially many devices


  • 4.1. Definition and seriousness
  • 4.2. Carbon allotropes
    • 4.2.1. Overview
    • 4.2.2. Carbon black
    • 4.2.3. Carbon nanotubes


  • 5.1. Displays and smart glass
  • 5.2. Graphene synthesis
  • 5.3. Hydrogen synthesis
  • 5.4. Lithium-ion batteries
  • 5.5. Sensors
  • 5.6. Thermoelectrics


  • 6.1. The need for batteries
  • 6.2. Batteries are a huge success
    • 6.2.1. Addressable battery market by end user segment $ billion
    • 6.2.2. Battery volume demand in GWh by end use segment 2016-2026
  • 6.3. Problems with batteries
  • 6.4. Ongoing lithium-ion fires and explosions
    • 6.4.1. Computers, cars, aircraft
    • 6.4.2. Hoverboards
    • 6.4.3. Next Li-ion failures and production delays due to cutting corners
  • 6.5. Impact of maintenance (battery change)
  • 6.6. How to improve, shrink and eliminate batteries
  • 6.7. Drivers and facilitators of battery elimination
    • 6.7.1. How it becomes more necessary and easier
    • 6.7.2. Rapid improvement in alternatives and more of them
    • 6.7.3. How to eliminate batteries in zero emission power production
    • 6.7.4. Huge potential
    • 6.7.5. Battery Eliminator Circuits: drones, eliminating PbA EV battery
  • 6.8. Roadmap to elimination of energy storage and sales resulting
  • 6.9. Best practice of energy storage elimination today
    • 6.9.1. University of Washington USA microwatt phone
    • 6.9.2. Triboelectric toys USA
    • 6.9.3. CO sensor powered by ambient radio
    • 6.9.4. EnOcean Germany microwatt to 3W
    • 6.9.5. Battery elimination today at kW
    • 6.9.6. IFEVS Italy electric restaurant van
    • 6.9.7. Cargo Trike UK
    • 6.9.8. Nuna8 Solar racer Netherlands
    • 6.9.9. Stella Lux Netherlands energy positive car
    • 6.9.10. Solar Ship Canada inflatable wing Canada 10kW
    • 6.9.11. MARS UK autonomous boat
  • 6.10. Dynamic charging from road Korea
  • 6.11. Battery elimination from currently developed land-based technologies
  • 6.12. Robot ships, off-grid power, diesel genset replacement: high power off-grid without batteries
  • 6.13. Grid, microgrid, genset without batteries one day
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