About Background Vision and goals Organization Partners News


Urban Mining Corp (UMC) is established in 2012 in order to develop and market its new, unique and patented MDS separation technology. This MDS (Magnetic Density Separation) technology makes use of ferromagnetic fluids and special designed magnets. MDS can be applied in the field of recycling (urban mining), mineral processing (mining) and other application areas that demand high-reliable sorting in a profitable way like in the seed industry. UMC licenses its breakthrough MDS technology, offers MDS machines to companies and is open to form exclusive partnerships with clients in specific market areas.


The MDS technology has been developed in the Resources and Recycling Group of Delft University of Technology.

From the early idea in 2005, the research group lead by professor Peter Rem has worked successfully on hydrostatic magnetic separation and managed to have its first market implementation with a Dutch company around 2008 by applying some rudimentary MDS concepts for scrap recycling. Since then, the technology has been developed much further by the university and in the EU funded W2Plastics Project. The MDS technology has been brought to performance levels beyond earlier expectations and is expected to be ready for large scale market introduction in 2015.
Urban Mining Corp, established in 2012, holds patents to the most important parts of the MDS technology and aims to develop and market the MDS technology for a wide range of applications. 

Urban Mining Corp is a joint venture of Delft University of Technology and Synvase. Delft University is the largest technical university in The Netherlands.

The Resources & Recycling Group has its roots in the former Mining Faculty and is one of the leading research institutes in Europe in this field. Synvase is a Dutch business development company for innovative technology in the resource sector and founding father of several innovative recycling companies. 

An important reason for Delft University and Synvase to join forces within Urban Mining Corp is their  fruitful cooperation in recent years, that amongst others has resulted in the founding and successful development of the bottom ash recycling company Inashco.
The MDS innovation is an unique patented technology
Vision and goals

Being the biggest consumer of materials, the urban environment generates correspondingly high volumes of end-of-life packaging materials, electric and electronic equipment, vehicles, buildings and infrastructure. Compared to conventional mining, urban mining saves energy, reduces CO2  emissions, improves resource availability, decreases the impact of rising resource prices and avoids many negative environmental impacts.

The challenge of the recycling sector is to continuously improve its technology base to unlock the intrinsic material value within waste streams. As consumer products, over time only have become more complex mixtures of materials, there is an absolute necessity for new recycling technology to cope with this higher complexity.
We believe that before separating waste steams into products, individual materials need to be liberated from each other. However, the better you liberate, the smaller individual particles become. This is why Urban Mining Corp focusses on the development of separation technology for small particles.  

We aim to mechanically separate fine mixed material flows into its components to prevent any unnecessary chemical, metallurgical, thermal or incineration processes. In this way, materials, energy and costs can be saved, while at the same time reducing the emissions to the environment.

Urban Mining Corp has a continuous R&D program to optimize its processes for fine material separation. We expect the MDS technology to reshape the recycling market, especially that of plastics recycling as it might replace ranges of expensive equipment and will recover plastics with much higher yields. 

Frontrunner towards a Circular Economy

Urban Mining Corp is managed by an experienced and flexible team, perfectly equipped to meet the challenges that come with the company’s current stage of development. UMC can rely on its shareholders’ financial administration, ICT environment and extensive laboratory and demonstration facilities. Therefore, the organization is kept lean and mean at this stage but can be easily geared for further growth. The key members are presented on this site:

Jaap Vandehoek is responsible for the companies general and commercial management. He is educated in resource engineering and recycling metallurgy and has engaged successfully in process engineering and business development in the waste recycling and secondary metal industry. Amongst others, Jaap has co-founded the company Inashco BV (http://www.inashco.com/) in 2008 and was Inashco’s managing director until 2012.

Emie Vitalis is the financial controler of the group and responsible for IP and HR management. She is certified public accountant and has an extensive history in corporate administration.

Peter Rem is full professor at Delft University of Technology leading the Resource & Recycling Chair of the Section Materials and Environment. He has published on physics (superconductivity, lattice gases, neutron spectroscopy, CFD, mechanics and electrodynamics) as well as on applied science (minerals processing, drying and recycling) and is author of over a dozen patents on process technology and process equipment, about half of which have been implemented in industry.

Francesco Di Maio is assistant professor at TUDelft and has a background in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technical Physics. Francesco is involved in Waste Separation and Recycling research and was the project coordinator of the FP7 project Waste to Plastics that lead to the succesfull development of the MDS technology for polyolefin separation.

Peter Berkhout has over 40 years of practical mechanical engineering experience and is the head of the mining and resource recycling research laboratory at the TU Delft for more than 25 years. Peter has played a pivotal role in the development of several successful innovations in the resource sector. Over the last 10 years, Peter was closely involved in the development of the MDS technology and is currently responsible for the engineering and construction of the industrial MDS systems.

Bin Hu is experienced in developing and improving innovative technologies and is currently responsible for our testing and demonstration activities for potential partners. She has an extensive experience in solid waste treatment, especially in polymer recycling and the MDS technology. Bin has a strong academic background with more than ten publications during the PhD study. Juriaan Meulenaars is responsible for the mechanical engineering department of UMC.

Jelle Sernee is an entrepreneur with experience in business development, general and commercial management. Founder of several start-ups in the waste and metals recycling industry. Jelle is responsible for the development of business opportunities in the area of metal separation.

Maarten Willers has a masters degree in Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management. He is responsible for market intelligence and researching financial feasibility of new projects through comprehensive testing. With his academic and professional experience, he perfectly understands which commercial-, technological- and institutional aspects are driving successful innovation in the recycling industry.

Science and Advisory board:
We are establishing a Science and Advisory board to support our profile as strategic solutions provider instead of mere a supplier of a single technology. We acknowledge, that to be able to achieve structural improvements towards a circular resource supply chain, providing a single unit operation is not sufficient. We therefore apply a more holistic view in which we include pre and post treatment processes, end consumer needs, the development of new technology if necessary and macro level drivers like job creation, geo political dependencies and environmental impacts. With the help of our Science and Advisory board we aim to be a strategic partner for meeting the resource challenges in your field of activities.

Working in flexible multi disciplinary teams

Content synvase logo   centralized for website

Synvase is a business development company for innovative recycling technologies with expertise in the domain of recycling and raw materials processing. Synvase is the major shareholder of Urban Mining Corp and responsible for corporate strategy and providing growth capital. Its broad industry network provides access to the relevant expertise, industrial partners, investors, traders and end users. Further synergy is created by interaction between Urban Mining Corp and several other recycling activities within the portfolio of Synvase, like bottom ash recycler Inashco, electronic waste recycler Weeehold and metallurgical slag recycler Metmin. For more information: www.synvase.com

Content tu p1 color

Being the origin of the Magnetic Density Separation technology and shareholder, Delft University of Technology is  the natural Research and Development partner of Urban Mining Corp. Together with TU Delft, Urban Mining Corp is involved in several research programs to improve the capabilities of the MDS technology itself and to invent new pre and post MDS technologies to increase recovery of target materials and to improve end product quality. An example is the EU funded TIU project in which both new liberation technologies are developed and color sorting on customer demand. For more information: www.tudelft.com or Resources and Recycling group.

Long term partnerships are fundamental for
effective business development


February 2018

On 26th of February, Urban Mining Corp has become a launching patner of Plastic Whale Circular Furniture. Together with The Plastic Whale (www.plasticwhale.com) we have started the development of furniture based on post consumer plastics.

On 21-22 February, the first 3D printed public bench made from Umincorp circular HDPE flakes has been presented by The New Raw (www.thenewraw.org) on the FRAME LAB Exhibition in Amsterdam. As a result from the high HDPE puriy of 99-100%, the flakes were directly fed in the printing robot with a great result! The XXX bench from The New Raw is also presented at the Material Xperience in Ahoy Rotterdam at 13-15 March 2018.


January 2018

The Blue Deal news item of 31st of January 2018.
To view and read background: follow this link

NOS news item Monday 15th of January 2018.
To view and read background: follow this link

Nationaal Groenfonds
'Innovaties Urban Mining geven boost aan circular economy.' 
To read article of 15th of January 2018: follow this link

October 2017

Article: 'Gescheiden inzameling van plastic is zinloos' from Delta.
Read article here

July 2017

Nationaal Groenfonds: Urban Mining Corp - zuiver plastic, minder afval

Read article on their website here

May 2017

Groenfonds has issued a loan to Umincorp.

Read full article at AD here

 February 2017

January 2017
Enlightenmentz of the Year 2017
On January 20, 2017 Urban Mining Corp won the Enlightenmentz of the Year election in the category Process.

Process Enlightenment
Urban Mining Corp heeft een scheidingstechniek ontwikkeld waarmee op basis van verschil in dichtheid meerdere kunststofsoorten, elektronica en metalen in één processtap zeer nauwkeurig kunnen worden gescheiden. Op deze manier wordt uit afval materiaal herwonnen dat opnieuw het productieproces in kan. Urban Mining Corp is in bezit van de patenten op deze MDS-technologie en richt zich nu op verdere ontwikkeling en op het vermarkten ervan voor een breed scala aan toepassingen.
Een Process Enlightenment is een innovatieve technologie die hele productieprocessen en zelfs hele ketens kan verduurzamen, met een grote positieve impact op de mens en het milieu. Een nieuw proces dat bijvoorbeeld breed inzetbaar is en veel grondstoffen, energie of water bespaart.
De andere finalisten in deze categorie waren Power to protein, benzeen en etheen uit biomassa en BioPET100.

See full article on duurzaamgeproduceerd.nl

November 2015

STW en bedrijfsleven investeren 24 miljoen euro in toponderzoek
Het bestuur van Technologiestichting STW geeft groen licht aan vijf omvangrijke onderzoeksprogramma’s die moeten leiden tot innovatieve technologieën. STW stelt daarvoor ruim 16 miljoen euro beschikbaar. Daarnaast investeren tientallen bedrijven ruim 8 miljoen euro, waaronder Shell, DAF, en TomTom, maar ook diverse mkb-bedrijven en start-ups. De programma’s richten zich op zelfrijdende auto’s, het transport van vloeibaar aardgas, nieuwe bacteriële vaccins voor mens en dier, het terugwinnen van waardevolle stoffen uit afval en nieuwe apparatuur voor de behandeling van neurologische ziekten en sensorische aandoeningen.

De vijf onderzoeksvoorstellen zijn geselecteerd binnen het financieringsprogramma ‘Perspectief voor de topsectoren’. Dat programma daagt wetenschappers uit samenwerkingsverbanden aan te gaan met private partijen, om gemeenschappelijk innovatief onderzoek op te zetten dat aansluit bij de topsectoren.

‘Bij Perspectief draait het om multidisciplinaire samenwerking’, zegt Perspectief-coördinator Anke Stekelenburg. ‘De Perspectief-programma’s zijn gebouwd op samenwerkingen tussen wetenschappers, bedrijven en maatschappelijke organisaties. Door al die partijen bijeen te brengen, geven we optimaal ruimte aan echte innovaties, en maximaliseren we de kans dat die innovaties tot toepassingen leiden. We hebben in deze ronde veel multidisciplinaire teams gezien die met veel energie en enthousiasme nu aan de slag gaan.’

Het Perspectief-programma leverde in deze ronde 28 onderzoeksinitiatieven op. De vijf gehonoreerde voorstellen ontvangen van STW een subsidie die varieert van 2,2 miljoen euro tot 4 miljoen euro. Bedrijven en andere partners leveren in totaal een investering van ruim 8 miljoen euro.

October 2015

Source: Valorisation Magazine TU Delft

July 2015


On July 3rd, 2015 Afvalzorg and Urban Mining Corp signed a cooperation agreement. Afvalzorg facilitates Umincorp in its research on high-quality metal recycling.
Both parties expect that the activities can create synergy that will lead to more in-depth collaboration.

​June 2015

Urban Mining Corp and Van Werven team up to produce high quality plastics

Urban Mining Corp and Van Werven have signed an agreement for the use of the MDS technology (Magnetic Density Separation) in the recycling process for rigid plastics of Van Werven at Biddinghuizen in the Netherlands.

Romwaste agreement

On the 11th of June 2015, Urban Mining Corp (“Umincorp”) and Rom Waste Solutions (“Romwaste”) have signed an agreement for the joint production of high grade plastic materials from municipal solid waste from Bucharest, Romania. Romwaste is the largest processor of Municipal Solid Waste in Romania and has a sorting plant for 200.000 tons of municipal solid waste per year collected in Bucharest and the County of Ilfov. The plant is currently producing amongst others metals, paper and mixed plastic concentrates. The mixed plastics will be washed and separated by polymer sort on the basis of the MDS technology of Umincorp, to produce high grade mono polymer products. Furthermore, Umincorp technology will help to increase the material recovery from the sorting plant improving the overall recycling rate of the operation. Start-up of the joint operation is planned for October 2015 and is intended to be scaled up in the course of 2016.
Romwaste and Umincorp have developed a partnership through the EU Funded R&D project “Waste to Plastics” that formed the basis of the development of the MDS technology for highly accurate polymer separation from household packaging waste.

October 2014

Ocean Exchange
Urban Mining Corp and Delft University of Technology have been selected as 1 of the 10 winners at the global Ocean Exchange Competition in Savannah, USA. In this competition, solutions that accelerate global sustainability are aknowledged.

for more information see: http://www.oceanexchange.org/



'Plastic: ramp of zegen?'

Nu de Europese Commissie als doel heeft gesteld om in 2030 al het plastic verpakkingsmateriaal te recyclen is er werk aan de winkel. Bijna de helft (40 %) van alle geproduceerde plastic wordt gebruikt in de verpakkingsindustrie. [..] 

'Is het nu echt nodig om 250 verschillende soorten plastic te gebruiken?'

'Innovaties Urban Mining geven boost aan circulaire economie'

kunststof recycling

Urban Mining Corp gebruikt een innovatieve techniek om hoogwaardige grondstoffen uit plastic afval te produceren. Een demo-installatie, waarin magnetische vloeistof verschillende soorten plastic scheidt, draait inmiddels volledig. Er wordt ook hard gewerkt aan een vervolgtechnologie: het op kleur scheiden van plastics.

15-01-2018 15:35 | DOOR: JOYCE DE THOUARS

Partner geworden van:

Over STW
Technologie verandert de wereld en heeft een enorme impact op ons leven. Technologiestichting STW staat aan het begin van die verandering. Wij realiseren kennisoverdracht tussen de technische wetenschappen en gebruikers van die wetenschappelijke kennis. We financieren excellent toepassingsgericht onderzoek en begeleiden de resultaten naar toepassing in de industrie, in het ziekenhuis of breder in de maatschappij.

STW is onderdeel van de Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) en ontvangt voor het uitvoeren van haar missie financiering van het Ministerie van Onderwijs Cultuur en Wetenschap, het Ministerie van Economische Zaken, het bedrijfsleven en diverse andere organisaties. In 2014 bedroeg het budget van STW 90 miljoen euro, waarvan 51 miljoen afkomstig van NWO/OCW, 20 miljoen van EZ, 9 miljoen van derden en 10 miljoen van cash cofinanciering door bedrijven die participeren in onderzoeksprojecten.

Gehonoreerde projecten

Innovative Magnetic Density Separation for the optimal use of resources and energy
Programmaleider: Prof.dr. P.C. Rem (Technische Universiteit Delft)
Deelnemers: Urban Mining Corp, Didde Magnetic Engineering, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Universiteit Twente, Universiteit Utrecht

Het moet mogelijk zijn om meer hightech materialen uit afval te recyclen, in plaats van ze steeds weer opnieuw te maken uit erts en olie. Dit programma richt zich op de ontwikkeling van een generieke recyclingtechnologie voor afvalstromen, zoals afgedankte elektronica en plastic verpakkingen. Zulke afvalstromen bestaan uit meer dan honderd verschillende hightech materialen, die vaak zijn toegepast in fijne structuren zoals dunne draadjes of folies in producten.
De onderzoekers ontwikkelen in dit programma een technologie die draait op magnetische dichtheidscheiding (MDS). Dat is een bijzondere vorm van drijf-zink-scheiding waarbij deeltjes van verschillende materialen zich al naar gelang hun dichtheid op een specifieke hoogte in een magnetische vloeistof verzamelen. MDS is een goedkope en energie-efficiënte scheidingstechniek die speciaal geschikt is voor fijne deeltjes.
De technologische ontwikkeling van MDS gaat op dit moment erg snel. De samenwerking tussen vele universiteiten in dit programma moet door de multidisciplinaire aanpak een wezenlijke stap zetten in de verdere ontwikkeling van MDS als recyclingtechniek voor hightech materialen – en daarbij het besparen van energie.

Urban Mining Corp is on the brink of large-scale market introduction of its MDS technology for plastic recycling. It is the result of years of intensive research and a close collaboration between Professor Peter Rem's Resources and Recycling group and the young company, led by Managing Director Jaap Vandehoek.

Recycling is an expanding field with huge economic potential, according to Professor Peter Rem, who heads TU Delft's Resources and Recycling research group. 

See full article here

The field of activities covers polymers from construction and demolition waste, large household appliances and commercial waste. The MDS technology was invented by Delft University of Technology. With this technique, several types of polymers can be separated very accurately in one process step on the basis of density differences.
After 5 years of research by Delft University of Technology, several pilot models and a small industrial installation for the recycling of household plastic packaging waste, this cooperation is the inducement to construct the first large-scale MDS installation. The MDS system will be an important innovation in Van Werven’s current recycling process and will be fully operational in Biddinghuizen early next year. Ton van der Giessen, managing director at Van Werven: "With this installation we can simplify our business model and produce a better quality of secondary raw materials."
Urban Mining Corp’s proprietary MDS technology can also be used for other input materials, such as plastic packaging waste, non-ferrous metals, minerals, shredder residues and seeds. "The MDS technology is extremely suited for separating a mixed stream of materials into a large quantity of products of high quality. We are working on applications for the MDS technology for each type of material and look for partners that have a strong market insight and sufficient volume to fill the capacity of our installations. Van Werven with its extensive experience in the processing of plastics and its strong market position is a perfect partner", said Jaap Vandehoek, managing director at Urban Mining Corp.
Urban Mining Corp and Van Werven have agreed to jointly exploit the MDS system in The Netherlands for the field of activities as mentioned above on the basis of exclusivity. After successful implementation in Biddinghuizen, the exclusive cooperation will be extended to North- West Europe.

You can watch our complete presentation at the 2014 Ocean Exchange event in the Youtube-video below.

Production of high grade plastic materials from
municipal solid waste in Bucharest