Innovative Tigard company turns waste plastic into crude oil

Tigard-based company Agilyx announced Monday that it had received another $25 million in financing to grow its innovative business.

Known as Plas2Fuel until earlier this year, the alternative energy company converts waste plastic into synthetic crude oil.

CEO Chris Ulum said that the investment would help to expand the company's fast-growing business.

Since March, the 7-year-old company has tripled its workforce, increased production and is closing in on $25 million in sales, Ulum said.

'This represents another major achievement for Agilyx,' Ulum said in a statement. 'This new round of financing will provide us with working capital to fund marketing, business development, the deployment of new projects, but more importantly, allow us to build a war chest to continue to scale our operations and to use when domestic and international expansion opportunities arise.'

Located off Hunziker Street in Tigard near Potso Dog Park, Agilyx converts difficult-to-recycle plastics such as motor oil containers into crude oil, reducing the amount of plastic waste that would go to the landfill.

The crude oil is then shipped from the Tigard facility to a refinery in the Pacific Northwest.

Only about 10 percent of all types of plastic are recycled, Ulum said last year.

Agilyx hopes to change that.

The company turns so-called 'dirty' plastics - plastics that can't be recycled - into a high-grade, refinable crude oil by heating it into a liquid and then to gas before it is condensed.

The process was developed by founder Kevin DeWhitt, the company's chief technology officer.

About 10 pounds of waste plastic equals about one gallon of synthetic crude oil, Ulum said.

To date, Agilyx has converted 1 million pounds of plastics, producing more than 130,000 gallons of synthetic crude oil.

The $25 million investment is led by Colorado-based finance company Keating Capital.

'With new partner Keating Capital on board, we continue to address key issues like our insatiable need for oil and the incessant growth of landfills with our solution of turning difficult-to-recycle plastics to synthetic crude oil,' Ulum said.'

This is the second big investment announcement for the company this year. In March, Ulum announced a $22 million investment from a group of big-name investors, including Waste Management, Inc., the country's largest garbage and recycling service.

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