In the shaft furnace the feed material flows from the top to the bottom of a perpendicularly positioned oven chamber. The energy for the melting process is generated by the combustion of coke and combustible components of the feed material (for example, plastics). The air necessary for combustion is fed into the melting zone. Shaft furnaces are used for the manufacture of primary lead and for lead recycling. During primary lead manufacture, the lead oxide resulting from the roasting process is reduced to metallic lead in the shaft furnace with the help of coke. When recycling batteries, the batteries are separated from the accompanying acid, roughly shredded with other scrap lead and discontinuously fed with additives to the shaft furnace for melting.