Blockchain Technology and the Circular Economy: A Systematic Literature Review

Review paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 11, Issue 2, 1100436
Abderahman Rejeb1 , Suhaiza Zailani2
1 Széchenyi István University, Budapest, Hungary
2 University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


This paper aims to offer an overview of what the features are in the existing state of research in the field of blockchains in the circular economy. A total of 79 articles published up to 31 May 2022 have been extracted from Scopus and Web of Science. The research design has enabled us to identify what characterises the present state of research on the use of blockchains in the circular economy. It has also allowed us to obtain a new categorisation scheme of the research that has identified five themes and the contributions in each theme, and has allowed us to highlight several research gaps. The review findings indicate that the literature revolved around five research themes, namely, the relationship between blockchains and Industry 4.0, the potentials of blockchains for circular economy practices, the role of blockchains in energy management, the role of blockchains in waste management and the impact of blockchains on sustainability. This review suggests several opportunities for future research and provides some helpful implications for researchers and practitioners. To the authors’ best knowledge, this study represents one of the first attempts to investigate the interplay between blockchain technology and the circular economy.

Keywords: Blockchain; Circular Economy; Industry 4.0; Sustainability; Waste; Energy

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