Emerging waste valorisation techniques to moderate the hazardous impacts, and their path towards sustainability

Abstract Due to the recent boom in urbanisation, economy, and global population, the amount of waste generated worldwide has increased tremendously. The World Bank estimates that global waste generation is expected to increase 70% by 2050. Disposal of waste is already a major concern as it poses risks to the environment, human health, and economy. To tackle this issue and maximise potential environmental, economic, and social benefits, waste valorisation – a value-adding process for waste materials – has emerged as a sustainable and efficient strategy. The major objective of waste valorisation is to transit to a circular economy and maximally alleviate hazardous impacts of waste. This review conducts bibliometric analysis to construct a co-occurrence network of research themes related to management of five major waste streams (i.e., food, agricultural, textile, plastics, and electronics). Modern valorisation technologies and their efficiencies are highlighted. Moreover, insights into improvement of waste valorisation technologies are presented in terms of sustainable environmental, social, and economic performances. This review summarises highlighting factors that impede widespread adoption of waste valorisation, such as technology lock-in, optimisation for local conditions, unfavourable regulations, and low investments, with the aim of devising solutions that explore practical, feasible, and sustainable means of waste valorisation.
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