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Waste Management Invests $22m in Plastic-to-Fuel Company

Waste Management has participated in a $22 million investment round benefiting Agilyx Corporation, a company that makes synthetic crude oil from waste plastic.

The Series B funding, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), included first-time investments from Waste Management and Total Energy Ventures International, an affiliate of Total S.A., and participation from existing investors Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Saffron Hill Ventures and Reference Capital.

Agilyx’s patented technology converts mixed waste plastic into crude oil that is then marketed to existing petroleum refineries. The company says its plant near Portland, Oregon is the largest commercially operational waste plastic to synthetic crude facility in North America.

Agilyx says it has recovered over one million pounds of plastic that would otherwise have been landfilled or incinerated, producing and selling more than 120,000 gallons of crude oil.

“Waste Management wants to maximize the value of the materials it manages,” Tim Cesarek, WM’s managing director of organic growth, said. “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.”

“Agilyx is the only company using waste to make a truly viable synthetic crude product,” said Amol Deshpande, a member of KPCB’s GreenTech Investment Team. “With this capital and the addition of world class strategic partners like Total and Waste Management, we are confident in the ability of Agilyx to quickly make a positive impact on the way mixed waste plastic is handled, and the way fuel is produced around the world,”

In other recent news, Plasco Energy Group announced that it will receive C$140 million (US$145 million) equity financing for the development of commercial waste-to-energy projects. The investment was led by funds managed by Soros Fund Management.

Plasco’s proprietary technology converts municipal solid waste into low-emissions engine fuel. The financing will be used to develop projects in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Poland, the Caribbean and China. It follows a C$110 million equity commitment led by Ares Management in July 2010.

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4 thoughts on “Waste Management Invests $22m in Plastic-to-Fuel Company

  1. Great story! Has all the elements: end-of-life, fuel sources, plastics, oil, and significant financial transactions! This might be the my favorite business article so far this year. Thanks for writing it.

  2. This is exactly the kind of industry that can positively shape the future of the U.S. and the world. This is an article I’ve been hoping would be written since I heard about Plastic to Oil conversion machines. Well played WM… well played. Your sinister plan of investing in sustainable technologies and protecting resources is going swimmingly.

  3. Everyone should practice proper management not only the bigger sector of our society, but it should start among us. We are facing a huge problem on plastic wastes right now, and it is expected that in the future, these problems will double in numbers. Let’s do our part to help the surroundings by simply doing what’s right as much as possible. Know the right way of disposing plastic wastes or carry out recycling or reusing of these materials.

  4. This is Awesome! Recently I saw some pieces on shows like CNN and the journal with Joan Lunden on PBS that were talking about issues and solutions for industrial recycling. This kind of thing takes it to the next level. Of course it’s not as good as eliminating oil altogether but it will help get rid of some of the waste for now. I hope they do well.

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