On October 11, CORE presents its latest installation for recycling e-waste, or electronic waste. The aim is to tackle the most complex electronic waste, such as old batteries and battery-suspected products. These products are currently causing major problems in the recycling sector, like waste fires that release toxic gases which are harmful to both people and the environment. CORE wants to tackle this problem with a new type of shredder that is completely submerged in water in order to prevent battery fires.
In recent years we have seen a sharp increase in the number of waste fires in Europe. Research has shown that the main causes of these fires are heating and the presence of flammable substances. The latter category includes batteries, the cause of 49 of the 53 fires at European companies in the electronic appliances recycling sector. These fires result in the release of hazardous substances, which can also affect many local residents. Apart from all the immediate risks, we lose valuable metals like cobalt when batteries go up in smoke, enough reason for Team CORE to solve the problem.
What is a battery fire?
The main problem with batteries is that they can become unstable due to various causes, potentially resulting in spontaneous ignition. Because a battery also contains a lot of oxygen, the fire is almost impossible to extinguish; this phenomenon is also known as thermal runaway. Apart from this, parts of the battery can also be ejected due to the pressure build-up, damaging other batteries in storage. This problem is particularly troublesome in the recycling of electronic products, where the batteries are well packaged, such as Bluetooth music speakers.
But battery fires also play a big role in other industries. In the metal industry it is the number one cause of fires. In paper recycling companies it even ranks third. According to the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the reason for this can be found in the low percentage of batteries collected. Only 24% of lithium-ion batteries in the Netherlands are collected, the rest end up among the PMD waste, residual waste and waste paper.
A circular future
And Team CORE’s ambition doesn’t stop there. They are currently busy developing a factory in Moerdijk, based on the technology of melting waste streams, and turning them into basalt products they unveiled in November 2020. “We want to make the maximum contribution we can to reaching the zero-age. That is the era in which humanity converts all the waste it generates back into raw materials. In other words, 100 percent recycling. The team focuses on developing techniques that can actually be used in industry, where we can make the most impact.”
Follow us on our journey
We want to thank all our partners, relations, and fans that have followed us in the past years and have been supporting us from the start. And for everybody that joined us today, be welcome on our journey to the first circular generation! Together we are going to make this technology, this dream, a big success!
If you would like to become a sponsor of the team or want to get into contact for business or research proposals, you can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0681696508
If you would like to see more, check out our Social Media!