Sustainability | Ecotrope

Recycler Proposes Turning Ag Plastics Into Oil

Ecotrope | Nov. 13, 2012 9:14 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:28 p.m.

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The agricultural plastics recycler Agri-Plas has proposed a plant that would turn its products into crude oil.

The move isn’t all that surprising, considering this Ecotrope post by Oregon Field Guide producer Ed Jahn.

Jahn reports Agri-Plas served as a demonstration site for Agilyx, an Oregon plastics-to-oil company based in Beaverton. The video above explains how Agri-Plas got started recycling agricultural plastics.

Agri-Plas co-president Allen Jongsma told Jahn that even with the cost of getting the plastics, converting it to oil and transporting it, the Agilyx system can produce gasoline or diesel fuel for around $50 a barrel. A barrel of crude oil costs around $85 right now.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality announced an informational meeting on the Agri-Plas project in Salem next week.

The company has applied for an air pollution permit from DEQ. The application says the project would take materials that wouldn’t otherwise be recyclable – like the plastic planting pots used in agriculture as noted in the Oregon Field Guide episode above – and turn them into a synthetic crude oil-like product. The facility would be able to produce roughly 2.6 million gallons of oil a year from 23 million pounds of plastic. It would gasify the plastic material and re-condense it into the oil-like product that would be sold to a refinery.

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