Oregon-based recycler Agilyx names new CEO

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Agilyx Agilyx is retrofitting its facility in Tigard, near Portland, to exclusively produce styrene monomer from recycled PS through pyrolysis.

Agilyx Corp., which is trying to build a viable business using pyrolysis to recycle polystyrene, is getting a new leader.

Joseph Vaillancourt becomes the Tigard, Ore.-based company’s CEO as former CEO Ross Patten becomes president.

It was just in January that Vaillancourt became Agilyx board chairman, a position he retains.

Patten, who remains on the company’s board, will oversee operations and project development.

Agilyx is retrofitting its facility in Tigard, near Portland, to exclusively produce styrene monomer from recycled PS through pyrolysis. That’s a shift away from a previous effort to commercialize mixed plastic waste-to-oil production that ultimately proved financially unsuccessful when crude prices fell.

Vaillancourt previously was vice president of corporate venturing at Waste Management Inc., which invested in and worked with Agilyx at one point.

“I have been associated with the company for several years and have had the opportunity to work closely with Ross and the Agilyx team over the last several months since assuming a board position,” Vaillancourt said in a statement. “I am very impressed with what they have accomplished. We are excited about our new polystyrene recycling platform and look forward to working with our strategic partners to bring this needed platform to market.”

Agilyx also named William Cooper as the company’s new chief financial officer. Cooper said the company is at “an inflection point” in a statement.

It was just in January that Agilyx unveiled its new focus on PS recycling, indicating the company had attracted $5 million in new funding for the change. The company sees a future of supplying styrene monomer to refiners who then sell it to converters to make new products.

Patten, at the time, said the company would be able to use about half of its existing equipment in making the change. That includes operation of the existing system’s reactor, which uses pyrolysis to convert the plastic into gas through high temperatures. After the reaction, the gases are chilled and turned into a liquid that’s then sold.

The company previously said styrene monomer production was expected to begin this summer.

Patten had been CEO since 2012.