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US plastics-to-oil processor gets six-way investment

USA – Leading US waste collector Waste Management has made an investment in Agilyx, a company that converts plastics waste into synthetic crude oil.

Waste Management was one of six companies that provided $22 million in Series B start-up financing to Agilyx, based in Portland, Oregon. The firm claims it can produce oil at around $45 per barrel, far below current market rates.

Agilyx has so far processed more than 500 tonnes of plastics waste in its demonstration facility to produce more than 500,000 litres of crude oil, and is credited as being the first company to sell crude generated in this way to a commercial refinery. Founded in 2004, when it was known as Plas2Fuel, Agilyx has developed technology to turn mixed plastics waste from solid to liquid form, and then to a gas, efficiently enough to condense commercially viable quantities of synthetic crude oil.

The company says its fully permitted, patented conversion technology is ready for commercial application, which will mean building and operating commercial-scale systems and marketing synthetic crude oil as a feedstock to existing petroleum refineries. ‘Waste Management wants to maximize the value of the materials it manages,’ Tim Cesarek, Managing Director of organic recycling for the company, said in a statement.

‘Agilyx’s technology complements Waste Management’s advancement of thermal chemical conversion technology platforms and provides us with a viable option for processing contaminated and difficult-to-recycle waste plastics while creating a high-value commodity.’ Other companies that agreed to provide Agilyx with seed financing were Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Total Energy Ventures International, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Saffron Hill Ventures and Reference Capital.

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