Wastes generated due to human and industrial activities produce massive pollution thus affecting our environment badly. Industries make available goods, jobs and services while contributing in environmental pollution and wastes on the other side. Industrial pollution has many features. It infects many sources of drinking water (water pollution), discharges surplus toxins into the air (air pollution) and reduces soil quality (soil pollution), wildlife extinction and global warming all over the world. Huge water pollution is also caused by industrial wastes while adding pollutants that are very much harmful for aquatic as well as terrestrial life. Major environmental calamities happened due to industrial mishaps while adding various types of trace metals in river water .
The cost of natural resources is increasing with time. Development in material skills is continually decreasing the use of natural capitals thus reducing pollutants load due to which major focus lies now on the recapture, reprocessing of natural capitals and search for more substitutes . Industrial residues are dumped in landfills ignoring their capability for recycling and reprocessing. At present, large amount of ceramic wastes are produced in ceramic industries that have a significant impact on environment and humans. One third (1/3) of the total ceramic production is waste material . Reusing waste materials results in green synthesis, eco-friendly products, green, energy saving, and pollution free environment.
Waste ceramics coming out are usually in the form of powder and tile's pellets. These are generated in the industry during the process of dressing, cutting and polishing. Though a part of these wastes is used near the industrial plants (e.g. in excavated pit refill) however, the remaining part needs open field for disposal. As a result, these wastes disperse in surroundings while indulging the aesthetic scene all around. However, the ceramic waste is durable, hard and highly resistant to biological, chemical, and physical changes. With increase in ceramic waste heaping up every day, there is a pressure on ceramic producers for its useful disposal.
China, (world’s largest ceramic producers and consumers) yields over one million tons of ceramic wastes annually . These wastes are just dumped or stacked nearby every year. In India, annual ceramic’s yield is about 100 million tons of which 15-30% wastes are generated . A lot of work has been done on the designing of comprehensive ways for the reutilization of ceramic wastes. Ceramic wastes and calcined clays have been recycled as alternatives for cement [6, 7]. Possible applications of ceramic wastes as a substitute for natural aggregates (gravel or sand) have also been reported [8–11]. Waste ceramics were used for the synthesis of geopolymers . Nano-silica recycled from construction and demolishing waste has been used for the development of construction materials  . Waste from electricity distribution networks have been recycled and used as reinforcing materials in polymer composites . Porous ceramic membrane was designed from recycled waste fly ash . Thermal and electrical properties of hybrid materials comprising of conducting PANI based waste mud were investigated  . Polymer composite based on waste material was proposed for possible high voltage outdoor application . Physical and mechanical properties of gypsum plaster composites affected by some waste additives have also been studied . PANI based composite materials has been used in electrochemical sensors for the detection of explosives . PANI/zeolite nanocomposites have been investigated as photoelectrode for the catalytic hydrogen production . PANI based composites have also been widely used as adsorbents for the removal of heavy metals from wastewater . However, no work has been done for the use of waste ceramic as filler in PANI matrix for exploring their physical and dielectric properties. Here, we report the first study in this regard.
There are about seven big industries that produce different ceramic based products in Pakistan with an annual installed capacity of 22 million square meter (m2) while the production figure is 18.7 million m2 . The waste produced is in the form of powder, pellets and cakes discharged from the plant at various stages which are not recycled in any form. Near the industrial unit, some advised areas are marked for dumping of these wastes. However, most industrial units throw their wastes in ditches or available place carelessly. These misplace dumping cause’s immense environmental and land degradation. Therefore, there remains a need for the proper way of disposal of these wastes rapidly. In addition, recycling them for some useful applications is a best strategy. No dedicated work has been done about the systematic characterization and reutilization of these wastes. Herein, waste ceramics found in the local industry site (FORT ceramic industry, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan) have been creatively presented to investigate its portability for polymer composite formation. FORT industry bears one of the largest ceramic manufacturing plant. PANI has been utilized as matrix due its good environmental stability, facile synthesis and electrical conductivity. The whole process was carried out in aqueous media to make it more environmentally friendly. The present study is novel in the sense that this is the first ever work performed in the country Pakistan. Secondly, the technique (in-situ free radical polymerization has been used for the first time in the production of the waste composites and the composites have been studied for the first time for their dielectric and capacitance performance.