Environmental Hazards and Management of E-waste

  • Shalu Rawat
  • Lata Verma
  • Jiwan Singh


E-waste is among the fastest growing solid waste classes and represents a serious hazard for the environment. It consists of a mixture of hazardous inorganic and organic materials, for example, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and brominated flame retardants, along with valuable metals, such as Au, Ag, and Pd. Direct e-waste disposal to landfills without any prior treatment creates threats to the environment due to leaching of metals in water and soil. Improper e-waste recycling, such as by open burning and acid baths, creates hazardous and toxic compounds, like dioxins, furans, and acids. Management of e-waste is different from the other solid wastes. The management of e-waste need advance as well as environmental friendly technologies with respect to its recycling and recovery of precious and valuable materials. Because e-waste contains a number of precious and base metals in large quantities, it can be utilized as an alternative or secondary source of such metals (Tanskanen 2013). Utilization of this secondary source instead of primary resources for metal extraction can reduce stress on primary metal sources for sustainable use, which will result in lowering the market value of those metals. Currently metals are extracted from e-waste by three main processes: pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, and biometallurgy through the use of high temperature, chemical leaching, and microorganisms, respectively. Biometallurgy is a recent, environmentally friendly, and promising technique and that is currently used in the efficient extraction of metals from low-grade ore.


E-waste Recycling Recovery Hazards 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the University Grant Commission (UGC), Government of India (UGC-BSR Research Startup Grant Project F. 30-382/2017, BSR) and the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), India (Reference ECR/2016/001924) for their financial support in the form of a research grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shalu Rawat
    • 1
  • Lata Verma
    • 1
  • Jiwan Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceBabasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar UniversityLucknowIndia

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