A Green Conception in the Construction Sector: Incorporation of E-waste into Concrete

  • Salmabanu LuharEmail author
  • Ismail Luhar
Living reference work entry


Increased industrial development results in increased generation of waste, creating a dilemma regarding its disposal. That is why the conception of the “four R’s” – reduce, reuse, recycle, and recover – is the need of the hour. This chapter sheds light upon the most modern, fastest-emerging, and most valuable (but also a complex, nonbiodegradable, and toxic) type of solid waste – known as e-waste – which is generated by disposal of electrical and electronic equipment. Landfilling of e-waste causes contamination of environments, soils, surface water, and groundwater, in addition to health hazards. Moreover, e-waste contains hazardous radioactive substances and toxic chemicals, which can leach into the ground and the surroundings, causing threats to biodiversity and ecosystems. For these reasons, systematic disposal of this alarming type of waste is essential. An innovative green revolutionary concept is aimed at using this waste as a substitute for natural aggregate and as a supplementary material for producing various types of sustainable, durable, affordable, and “green” concrete, mortar, etc. for use in the construction industry. Given the thermal resistance, strength, and durability parameters of suitably formulated green concrete, it should be promoted as a promising future construction material with a low carbon footprint. This new “urban mining” approach aims to determine the best potential applications for this hazardous form of waste, not only to prevent unbridled degradation of the environment and natural aggregate resources, with consequential detrimental impacts on ecosystems, but also to devise a well-considered solution to get rid of e-waste and to establish green concrete incorporating e-waste as a future building material for use in the construction and infrastructure industries.


Biodiversity Carbon dioxide Carbon footprint Cathode ray tube Chloride ion infiltration Compressive strength Concrete Cost effectiveness Disposal management Durability properties Ecosystem E-fibers E-glasses Electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) E-metals E-plastics Fine aggregate Fire resistance Flexural strength Green concrete Greenhouse gas Health hazards Heavy metals Landfills Lead Lightweight concrete Municipal solid waste Nonbiodegradable Ordinary Portland cement Permeability Polyethylene terephthalate Polystyrene foam Printed circuit boards Recycle Recycled aggregate Resistance Sorptivity Split tensile strength Strength properties Sulfate attack Sustainable Thermal resistance Urban mining Waste electrical and electronic equipment Water absorption 


  1. Aditya G, Dinesh S, Shubam S et al (2016) Utilization of e-plastic waste in concrete. Int J Eng Res Technol 5. ISSN 2278-0181Google Scholar
  2. Ahirwar S, Malviya P, Patidar V et al (2016) An experimental study on concrete by using e-waste as partial replacement for coarse aggregate. Int J Sci Technol Eng 3:8–13Google Scholar
  3. Akcil A, Erust C, Gahan CS et al (2015) Precious metal recovery from waste printed circuit boards using cyanide and non-cyanide lixiviants – a review. Waste Manag 45:258–271. Scholar
  4. Akram A, Sasidhar C, Pasha KM (2015) E-waste management by utilization of e-plastics in concrete mixture as coarse aggregate replacement. Int J Innov Res Sci Eng Technol 4:5087–5095CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Alagusankareswari K, Kumar SS, Vignesh KB et al (2016) An experimental study on e-waste concrete. Indian J Sci Technol 9:1–5. Scholar
  6. Alam MS, Slater E, Billah AHMM (2013) Green concrete made with RCA and FRP scrap aggregate: fresh and hardened properties. J Mater Civ Eng 25:1783–1794. Scholar
  7. Andreu G, Miren E (2014) Experimental analysis of properties of high performance recycled aggregate concrete. Constr Build Mater 52:227–235. Scholar
  8. Arora A, Dave U (2013) Utilization of e-waste and plastic bottle waste in concrete. Int J Stud Res Technol Manag 1:398–406. Accessed 7 Feb 2020
  9. Badur S, Chaudhary R (2008) Utilization of hazardous wastes and by-products as a green concrete material through S/S process: a review. Rev Adv Mater Sci 17:42–61Google Scholar
  10. Balasubramanian B, Gopala K, Saraswathy V (2016) Investigation on partial replacement of coarse aggregate using e-waste in concrete. Int J Earth Sci Eng 9:285–288Google Scholar
  11. Baldé C, Forti V et al (2017) The global e-waste monitor 2017: quantities, flows, and resources. United Nations University (UNU)/International Telecommunication Union (ITU)/International Solid Waste Association, Bonn/Geneva/Vienna. Accessed 6 Feb 2020Google Scholar
  12. Çakır Ö (2014) Experimental analysis of properties of recycled coarse aggregate (RCA) concrete with mineral additives. Constr Build Mater 68:17–25. Scholar
  13. Chen C, Huang R, Wu J et al (2006) Waste e-glass particles used in cementitious mixtures. Cem Concr Res 36:449–456. Scholar
  14. Colbert BW, You Z (2012) Properties of modified asphalt binders blended with electronic waste powders. J Mater Civ Eng 24:1261–1267. Scholar
  15. Damal VS, Londhe SS (2015) Utilization of electronic waste plastic in concrete. Int J Eng Res Appl 5(4):35–38. Accessed 7 Feb 2020Google Scholar
  16. De La Colina Martínez AL, Barrera GM, Díaz CEB et al (2019) Recycled polycarbonate from electronic waste and its use in concrete: effect of irradiation. Constr Build Mater 201:778–785. Scholar
  17. Dixit S, Vaish A (2013) Sustaining environment and organisation through e-waste management: a study of post consumption behaviour for mobile industry in India. Int J Log Syst Manag 16:1. Scholar
  18. Gautam SP, Srivastava V, Agarwal VC (2012) Use of glass wastes as fine aggregate in concrete. J Acad Ind Res 1:320–322Google Scholar
  19. Hui Z, Sun W (2011) Study of properties of mortar containing cathode ray tubes (CRT) glass as replacement for river sand fine aggregate. Constr Build Mater 25:4059–4064. Scholar
  20. Ilankoon I, Ghorbani Y, Chong MN et al (2018) E-waste in the international context – a review of trade flows, regulations, hazards, waste management strategies and technologies for value recovery. Waste Manag 82:258–275. Scholar
  21. Iqbal M, Breivik K, Syed JH et al (2015) Emerging issue of e-waste in Pakistan: a review of status, research needs and data gaps. Environ Pollut 207:308–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jose A, Sangeetha S (2017) Effect of e-fibre addition on e-plastic incorporated concrete. Int J Adv Res Innov Ideas Educ 2:17–23. Accessed 7 Feb 2020Google Scholar
  23. Karuna Devi K, Kumar A, Balaraman R (2017) Study on properties of concrete with electronic waste. Int J Civil Eng Technol 8:520–536Google Scholar
  24. Kim YH, Wyrzykowska-Ceradini B, Touati A et al (2015) Characterization of size-fractionated airborne particles inside an electronic waste recycling facility and acute toxicity testing in mice. Environ Sci Technol 49:11543–11550. Scholar
  25. Krishna P, Rao MK (2014) Strength variations in concrete by using e-waste as coarse aggregate. Int J Educ Appl Res 4:82–84Google Scholar
  26. Kulkarni PS, Ghatge A, Kank O et al (2016) Experimental investigation on modulus of elasticity of recycled aggregate concrete. Int J Earth Sci Eng 9:415–419Google Scholar
  27. Kumar A, Holuszko M, Espinosa DCR (2017) E-waste: an overview on generation, collection, legislation and recycling practices. Resour Conserv Recycl 122:32–42. Scholar
  28. Lakshmi R, Nagan S (2010) Studies on concrete containing e-plastic waste. Int J Environ Sci 1:270–281. Accessed 7 Feb 2020Google Scholar
  29. Lakshmi R, Nagan S (2011) Investigations on durability characteristics of e-plastic waste incorporated concrete. Asian J Civil Eng (Build Hous) 12:773–787. Accessed 7 Feb 2020
  30. Li J, Xu Z (2010) Environmental friendly automatic line for recovering metal from waste printed circuit boards. Environ Sci Technol 44:1418–1423. Scholar
  31. Li J, Zeng X, Chen M et al (2015) “Control-alt-delete”: rebooting solutions for the e-waste problem. Environ Sci Technol 49:7095–7108. Scholar
  32. Manjunath BA (2016) Partial replacement of e-plastic waste as coarse-aggregate in concrete. Procedia Environ Sci 35:731–739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mathur A, Choudhary A, Yadav PS, Murari K (2017) Experimental study of concrete using e-waste as coarse aggregate. Int J Eng Sci Comput 7(5):11244–246Google Scholar
  34. Nadhim S, Navya SP, Pranay GK (2016) A comparative study of concrete containing e-plastic waste and fly ash concrete with conventional concrete. Int J Eng Res 4:2321–7758Google Scholar
  35. Nagajothi PG, Felixkala T (2014) Compressive strength of concrete incorporated with e-fiber waste. J Emerg Technol Adv Eng 4:23–27Google Scholar
  36. Palos A, Dsouza NA, Snively C et al (2001) Modification of cement mortar with recycled ABS. Cem Concr Res 31:1003–1007. Scholar
  37. Panneer Selvam N, Gopala Krishna GVT (2016) Recycle of e-waste in concrete. Int J Sci Res 5(4):1590–1593Google Scholar
  38. Park S-B, Lee B-C (2004) Studies on expansion properties in mortar containing waste glass and fibers. Cem Concr Res 34:1145–1152. Scholar
  39. Romero D, James J, Mora R et al (2013) Study on the mechanical and environmental properties of concrete containing cathode ray tube glass aggregate. Waste Manag 33:1659–1666. Scholar
  40. Sepúlveda A, Schluep M, Renaud FG et al (2010) A review of the environmental fate and effects of hazardous substances released from electrical and electronic equipments during recycling: examples from China and India. Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:28–41. Scholar
  41. Shanmugavalli B, Gowtham K, Eswara Moorthi B et al (2017) Sustainable building blocks utilizing e-waste and sugarcane bagasse. Int J Innov Res Technol 3:248–252. Accessed 7 Feb 2020Google Scholar
  42. Shreelaxmi P, Kumar M (2019) Effect of partial replacement of coarse aggregates with e-waste on strength properties of concrete. Sustainable Construction and Building Materials. Springer, Singapore, pp 555–560Google Scholar
  43. Singh N, Li J, Zeng X (2016) Global responses for recycling waste CRTs in e-waste. Waste Manag 57:187–197. Scholar
  44. Suchithra S, Kumar M, Indu V (2015) Study on replacement of coarse aggregate by e-waste in concrete. Int J Tech Res Appl 3:266–270Google Scholar
  45. Taha B, Nounu G (2009) Utilizing waste recycled glass as sand/cement replacement in concrete. J Mater Civ Eng 21:709–721. Scholar
  46. Tukker A (2014) Rare earth elements supply restrictions: market failures, not scarcity, hamper their current use in high-tech applications. Environ Sci Technol 48:9973–9974. Scholar
  47. Vivek SD, Saurabh SL, Ajinkya BM (2015) Utilization of electronic waste plastic in concrete. Int J Eng Res Appl 5:35–38Google Scholar
  48. Walczak P, Małolepszy J, Reben M, Rzepa K (2015) Mechanical properties of concrete mortar based on mixture of CRT glass cullet and fluidized fly ash. Proc Eng 108:453–458. Scholar
  49. Wang R, Meyer C (2012) Performance of cement mortar made with recycled high impact polystyrene. Cem Concr Compos 34:975–981. Scholar
  50. Wang R, Zhang T, Wang P (2012) Waste printed circuit boards nonmetallic powder as admixture in cement mortar. Mater Struct 45:1439–1445. Scholar
  51. Wang Y, Hu J, Lin W et al (2016) Health risk assessment of migrant workers exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls in air and dust in an e-waste recycling area in China: indication for a new wealth gap in environmental rights. Environ Int 87:33–41. Scholar
  52. Wen X, Li J, Hao L et al (2006) An agenda to move forward e-waste recycling and challenges in China. In: Proceedings of the 2006 IEEE international symposium on electronics and the environment, Scottsdale, 8–11 May 2006.
  53. Xu Q, Li G, He W et al (2012) Cathode ray tube (CRT) recycling: current capabilities in China and research progress. Waste Manag 32:1566–1574. Scholar
  54. Yang J, Lu B, Xu C (2008) WEEE flow and mitigating measures in China. Waste Manag 28:1589–1597. Scholar
  55. Yeheyis M, Hewage K, Alam MS et al (2012) An overview of construction and demolition waste management in Canada: a lifecycle analysis approach to sustainability. Clean Techn Environ Policy 15:81–91. Scholar
  56. Zheng Y, Shen Z, Cai C et al (2009) Influence of nonmetals recycled from waste printed circuit boards on flexural properties and fracture behavior of polypropylene composites. Mater Des 30:958–963. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Mineral Resources EngineeringNational Taipei University of TechnologyTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Shri Jagdishprasad Jhabarmal Tibrewala UniversityJhunjhunuIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Chaudhery Mustansar Hussain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Environmental ScienceNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA

Personalised recommendations