Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 17, pp 17135–17151 | Cite as

Past and emerging topics related to electronic waste management: top countries, trends, and perspectives

  • Daniel Fernandes Andrade
  • João Paulo Romanelli
  • Edenir Rodrigues Pereira-FilhoEmail author
Research Article


A bibliometric analysis was performed to assess historical and recent research trends regarding e-waste studies from 1998 to 2018. Documents related to e-waste were identified from the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science© (WoS) database, and a total of 3311 academic articles was retrieved. The analysis was performed from four main aspects: (1) publication activity by year, by WoS category, and by geographic distribution; (2) journals; (3) most-cited papers; and (4) top 10 countries and author keyword analysis. The number of publications concerning e-waste issues has increased substantially over the last 20 years, especially in the environmental science category, and more than a third of the publications were produced in China (1181 records). Waste Management and Environmental Science & Technology were the most sought-after journals for disseminating the results. Studies related to “e-waste flow analysis,” “recycling,” “recovery of precious metals,” and “risk assessment of recycling areas” have been the most common for several years. The analysis of keywords suggested that there are many topics on electronic waste and that each country has presented a different focus of research. Overall, the bibliometric analysis proved to be an efficient tool with which to monitor historical and current research trends and to evaluate the sheer volume of currently existing scientific literature on e-waste topics.


E-waste WEEE International waste management VOSviewer Bibliometric mapping Bibliometric indicator 



The authors are grateful to the Research Foundation of São Paulo (Fapesp, grants 2016/17304-0 and 2016/01513-0), which supported this study and to the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico - CNPq for financially supporting this work (Projects 401074/2014-5, 305637/2015-0). This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5089_MOESM1_ESM.docx (6.6 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 6774 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Group of Applied Instrumental Analysis, Department of ChemistryFederal University of São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesFederal University of São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil

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