Glass Production from River Silica of Bangladesh: Converting Waste to Economically Potential Natural Resource 10.32526/ennrj/20/202100124

Main Article Content

Mohammad Rajib
Md. Fahad Hossain
Mahfuza Parveen


The Ganges-Brahmaputra river system at the Bengal Basin carries large amounts of sediments on the way to finally deposit at the Bay of Bengal. Those river-transported sediments form bar deposits during dry season in many areas of Bangladesh and accumulate economic mineral depositions at suitable geological environments. Dredging is a must for most of those rivers for proper navigation, as well as protecting bank erosion, which generates millions of tons of waste sand. The dredged materials from river beds are mostly composed of silicate minerals, especially quartz and feldspar along with several dark colored heavy minerals. Like the industrial processing of heavy minerals from bulk sands, various physical separation techniques can be utilized for the beneficiation of silica from those river-born silicate minerals in dredged sands. Those silica have been successfully upgraded to near-glass sand grade in the laboratory, however, they have yet to be utilized for any kind of commercial venture. The present study attempts characterization of several river sands through physical separation and laboratory analysis. The upgraded silica was successfully compared with several quality glass sands and laboratory production of glasses. This experimental production of glass from upgraded silica could potentially be economical considering its industrial application with positive environmental consequences through minimizing the dredging cost, increasing the navigability of the river and ecological balance along the flood plain.

Article Details

How to Cite
Rajib, M. ., Hossain, M. F. ., & Parveen, M. . (2022). Glass Production from River Silica of Bangladesh: Converting Waste to Economically Potential Natural Resource: 10.32526/ennrj/20/202100124. Environment and Natural Resources Journal, 20(2), 129–136. Retrieved from
Original Research Articles


Alexander D. Consequences of floods in developing countries: International perspectives for disaster management. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Bangladesh Floods: Regional and Global Environmental Perspectives, 1989 Mar 4-6; Dhaka, Bangladesh; 1989.

Deshpande AM, Deshpande VK. Effect of SiO2 and Al2O3 addition on the density, Tg and CTE of mixed alkali -alkaline earth borate glass. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 2009;2:Article No. 012034.

Garzanti E, Vezzoli G, Ando S, France-Lanord C, Singh SK, Foster G. Sand petrology and focused erosion in collision orogens: The Brahmaputra case. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 2004;220:157-74.

Glass for Europe. From sand to flat glass Sustainable sourcing of high-quality sand for industrial use [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2021 Nov 12] Available from: from-sand-to-flat-glass/#_ftn2.

Hossain SS, Ahmed M, Islam N, Biswas PK, Rahman MA. Glass sand potentiality of bar sediments from Tista and Dharla Rivers, Bangladesh. Rajshahi University Journal of Life, Earth and Agricultural Science 2013;41:57-64.

Imam B. Mineral Resources of Bangladesh. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Bangla Academy; 1996. p. 1-159.

Islam MN. Glass Sand Deposits of the Balijuri Area, Sherpur District, Bangladesh (Volume 3, Part 4). Bangladesh: Geological Survey of Bangladesh; 1985.

Islam MN. Glass Sand Deposits of Chauddagram Area, Comilla District, Bangladesh. (Volume 4, Part 5). Bangladesh: Geological Survey of Bangladesh; 1986.

Jasy JB, Rahman MJJ, Yeasmin R. Sand petrology of the exposed bar deposits of the Brahmaputra-Jamuna River, Bangladesh: Implications for provenance. Bangladesh Geoscience Journal 2010;16:1-22.

Jordens A, Cheng YP, Waters KE. A review of the beneficiation of rare earth element bearing minerals. Minerals Engineering 2013;41:97-114.

Kumari A, Panda R, Jha MK, Kumar JR, Lee JY. Process development to recover rare earth metals from monazite mineral: A review. Minerals Engineering 2015;79:102-15.

Marshall G. From sandy beach to Kaby Lake: How sand becomes silicon [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2021 Jul 1]. Available from: /how-sand-is-transformed-into-silicon-chips-599785.

McMillan P. Flame-broiled alumina. Nature 2004;430:Article No. 738.

Milliman JD, Meade RH. World-wide delivery of river sediment to the oceans. Journal of Geology 1983;91(1):1-21.

Moscoso-Pinto F, Kim HS. Concentration and recovery of valuable heavy minerals from dredged fine aggregate waste. Minerals 2021;11:Article No. 49.

Norton FH. Elements of Ceramics. Massachusetts, USA: Addision-Wesley Publishing Co. Inc.; 1957.

Pisutti D, Prukswan C, Pornsawat W, Narin S. Investigations on local quartz sand for application in glass industry. In: Ip W-H, Satake K. editors. Advances in Geosciences: Volume 13: Solid Earth (SE). World Scientific Publishing Co.; 2009. p. 23-9.

Rafi SMM, Tasnim UF, Rahman MS. Quantification and Qualification of silica sand extracted from Padma River sand. IOP Conference Series: Material Science and Engineering 2018;438:Article No. 012037.

Rahman M, Dustegir M, Karim R, Haque A, Nicolls RJ, Derby HE, et al. Recent sediment flux to the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta system. Science of The Total Environment 2018;643:1054-64.

Rahman MJJ, Pownceby MI, Rana MS. Occurrence and distribution of valuable heavy minerals in sand deposits of the Jamuna River, Bangladesh. Ore Geology Reviews 2020; 116:Article No. 103273.

Rahman MA, Pownceby MI, Haque N, Bruckard WJ, Zaman MN. Characterization of titanium-rich heavy mineral concentrates from the Brahmaputra River Basin, Bangladesh. Applied Earth Science (Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy B) 2014;123:222-33.

Rahman MA, Pownceby MI, Haque N, Bruckard WJ, Zaman MN. Valuable heavy minerals from the Brahmaputra River sands of Northern Bangladesh, Applied Earth Science (Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy B) 2016;125:174-88.

Rahman MA, Zaman MN, Biswas PK, Sultana S, Nandy PK. Physical separation for upgradation of valuable minerals: A study on sands of the Someswari River. Bangladesh Journal of Scientific and Indusrial Research 2015;50(1):53-8.

Rajib M, Zaman MM, Kabir MZ, Deeba F, Rana SM. Physical upgradation and characterization of river silica of Bangladesh to be used as glass sand. Proceedings of International Conference on Geoscience for Global Development, 2009 Oct 26-31; Dhaka, Bangladesh; 2009. p. 192-6