E-waste: Global Scenario, Constituents, and Biological Strategies for Remediation

  • Srujana Kathi
  • Anbarashan Padmavathy
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 57)


Global technology development and industrialization have led to the increased usage of electronic gadgets. Electronic waste or e-waste is one of the emerging environmental issues in the developing countries. Much of the e-waste globally generated is recycled in the unregulated informal sector and results in significant risk to environmental health. These wastes also consist of economically valuable minerals such as copper, silver, and gold. The multitude of toxic heavy metals present in the components of discarded electrical and electronic equipment such as cadmium, arsenic, antimony, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, beryllium, brominated flame retardants, PAHs, and PCBs pose threats to the environment. The usage of microbes and plants in minimizing the toxicity of chemicals and metals in the environment is eco-friendly and cost effective. This chapter provides a concise overview of the volume of e-waste generated globally, disposal and reuse/recycle practices; forecasts e-waste production, and discusses environmentally sustainable remediation strategies. The principles, advantages, and disadvantages of bioleaching, biosorption, bioaccumulation, bioprecipitation, biomineralization, and phytoremediation techniques, which are recognized as biological strategies for remediation of contaminants released into different environmental matrices are presented.


Bioaccumulation Bioleaching Biomineralization Bioprecipitation Biosorption Electronic waste Phytoremediation 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Srujana Kathi
    • 1
  • Anbarashan Padmavathy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Environmental SciencesPondicherry University, PuducherryKalapetIndia

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