Biodegradation of E-waste Pollution

  • Aneela Iqbal
  • Maria Manzoor
  • Muhammad ArshadEmail author
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 57)


Sustainable management of electronic waste (e-waste) is gaining considerable attention throughout the world. E-waste pollutes natural resources (soil, air, surface/groundwater) directly as well as indirectly. Toxic chemicals released from e-waste are carcinogenic in nature and considered as health hazards. E-waste has very complex nature with distinct properties. In developed countries, it is either buried in the landfills or sent to less developed regions like Africa, China, India, and Pakistan. Expensive metals like gold (Au), silver and copper (Cu) are recovered and reused from e-waste. Inadequate use of personal protective gears and dangerous recovery methods risk human health as well as the ecosystem. Owing to their tendency for biomagnification along the food chain, there is a need for proper management from collection till disposal. The available practices for e-waste management include physical and chemical methods. Biological methods however offer wide range of inexpensive treatment techniques for safe removal of toxic e-waste components. The major bioremediation techniques used for e-waste management are bioleaching, biosorption, bioaccumulation, biotransformation, biomineralization, microbially enhanced chemisorption of metals, and phytoremediation. Considering the type of waste, the combination of these biological approaches has great potential to overcome problems associated with e-waste.


E-waste Management Bioremediation Phytoremediation 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNational University of Sciences and TechnologyIslamabadPakistan

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