Oven for e-waste recycling revealed in Son

“Today, we reveal our oven to the world,” says Dirk van Meer, founder of Team CORE, which wants to recycle global complex electronic waste. The reveal event takes place today during a livestream, which will include a few words from, among others, prince Constantijn and Diederik Samson. In addition, CORE will show how it wants to compensate for CO2 emission.

photo Esmee Messemaker

Student team CORE wants to convert the ever-increasing waste stream of batteries, mobile telephones and other such waste into raw materials, for instance by extracting rare metals from it. That means less waste, and less dependence on far away countries and unsafe mines.

In order to separate materials in e-waste, Team CORE wants to build factories with ovens that run on energy-rich waste, such as sludge residues, waste generated by the recycling of automobiles, and circuit boards. It takes a carefully thought out mix of waste streams that can be inserted into an oven at a high temperature. The first oven has now been completed. It was built especially for practical research.

The main photo shows students placing a brew filled with e-waste into the oven. At a temperature of no less than 1600 degrees Celsius, the metals contained in the mix will sink to the bottom. A layer of slag is then formed on top of that with obsidian and basalt. Together with ProRail, CORE is currently investigating whether this can be reused in infrastructure. The metal can be used by the metal industry as recycled material.


The oven is located at Team CORE’s new accommodation in Son. Team captain and Chemical Engineering and Chemistry student Van Meer is happy with it. “We already finished the oven this spring. The original idea was to place it in Gemini, but the campus was closed down at the time due to corona. It cost a lot of money and I wanted to see it in action, so we started a search for a location. With help from the entire region (Brainport Development, TU/e and the municipalities, ed.), we ended up in an empty building on the Ekkersrijt terrain. It’s a wonderful space of 250 m2, with the oven beautifully placed at the center.”


“We process plastics as fuel, which leads to CO2 emission, despite the fact that it is more environmentally friendly than the current methods for plastic incineration,” Van Meer says. “We were unhappy with the fact that our method isn’t sustainable yet, and that’s why we are glad to have entered into a contract with the Trees for all foundation. We will compensate for all the CO2 we emit with our factory by planting trees in areas that were affected by mining. Our goal is to become a competitor of the existing mining industry, and we hope to offer employees of that industry an alternative in forestry. We are launching a project in Congo with Trees for all.

Three and a half factories

CORE, founded in 2018 from the TU/e Honors Program, has serious ambitions. “We will open our first factory in Delfzijl next year. We’re also setting up installations in Amsterdam, Moerdijk and Duiven, and we’re looking into the possibilities at Chemelot in Bladel.”

But today, the small oven, which will be used for much research, is to be revealed first. Just top-notch, Van Meer says about the contributions during the livestream of fans prince Constantijn and environmentalist Diederik Samson. “If you miss it today, you can always watch it on our website later.”

Share this article