Rubber waste management: A review on methods, mechanism, and prospects

Harika Chittella, Li Wan Yoon, Suganti Ramarad, Zee-Wei Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Each year a large amount of worn synthetic and natural rubber is discarded. Due to the complex three-dimensional structure, recycling, and degradation of rubber by natural processes are proven complicated. While waste rubber disposal has become a problem globally, the current rubber waste management measures are found to be inadequate. Rubber devulcanization or degradation produces rubber with broken crosslinks or broken main chain polymer, respectively. The devulcanized or degraded rubber can be reused, recycled as a new product, or used for energy recovery in various applications. The current review addresses the problems in rubber waste management and aims to provide detailed insight into alternatives to manage rubber waste through thermal, mechanical, physical, chemical, and biological methods. The advantages, disadvantages and bottlenecks present in each method is discussed. This review also presents the circular economy establishment on rubber in current and future prospect. This review concluded that while more research on technical, economic, and environmental aspects is needed, the methods discussed in the review lead the way for a more sustainable framework in rubber waste management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109761
JournalPolymer Degradation and Stability
Early online date24 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Circular economy
  • Devulcanization and degradation
  • Microbial degradation
  • Thermomechanical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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