Reprocessed construction and demolition waste as an adsorbent: An appraisal

Shiran Pallewatta, Madara Weerasooriyagedara, Sanandam Bordoloi, Ajit K. Sarmah, Meththika Vithanage

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste is solid wastes generated from the construction, demolition, and renovation activities that constitute almost 30–40 % of globally generated solid wastes. Improper disposal and management of these materials can cause negative impacts on the environment, economy, and human health. Most research on C&D waste is limited to reduction, recycling, and reuse of the wastes. However, there is no systematic review dedicated entirely to the applicability of C&D wastes as adsorbent for waste management. This review presents the utilization of C&D wastes-based adsorbents for removing contaminants from environmental matrices covering triple edge benefits in the viewpoints of waste treatment, solid waste management, and disposal. The properties, the capability of C&D waste adsorbents on contaminant removal, and the influence of various factors on the adsorptive removal is detailed. Further, the mechanisms involved in contaminant removal by C&D waste are summarized. The review revealed that, chemisorption is the prominent mechanism of contaminant removal by most C&D wastes. Among the three types of C&D waste reviewed; concrete-based adsorbents were the most efficient for contaminant removal. Limited studies are avaiable in the literature on binary and multiple contaminant systems, reusability studies, and high dependence on solution pH, therefore further studies are warrated. As C&D waste contain trace concentration of heavy metals and contaminants, its leaching potential at different pH levels and adsorbate concentration need to be conducted, which has been hitherto neglected. Finally, the approaches, obstacles, and potential solutions to build an industrially and economically efficient C&D adsorbent are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number163340
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Jul 15 2023


  • ISTC
  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Environmental remediation
  • Adsorption
  • Contaminant removal
  • Masonry
  • Concretes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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