Agilyx Corp. is once again back in operation after a two-year effort to narrow its focus to polystyrene recycling.
The Tigard, Ore.-based firm decided to concentrate only on PS following an earlier effort to handle a mixed plastics waste stream with the company's pyrolysis process to create oil.
Now the company is only processing PS, both rigid and expanded versions, in a process that makes styrene monomer, called styrene oil by the company, that can then be used to make new products.
Agilyx describes its Tigard facility as "the first commercial-scale closed-loop chemical recycling process for polystyrene in the world."
The facility can handle up to 10 tons of material per day through a process that uses heat, in the absence of oxygen, to recycle the material into styrene oil.
Agilyx already has off-take agreements with both Ineos Styrolution and Americas Styrenics LLC to purchase the facility's production.
Ineos also recently signed an agreement to use Agilyx's depolymerization technology at or near an Ineos Styrolution facility in North America.
"This collaboration not only looks to support deployment of a new chemical recycling application, but it also helps create a new innovative supply chain that bridges both the plastics and waste management industries. This combination creates a new circular economy for polystyrene," Agilyx CEO Joe Vaillancourt said in a statement.
Ineos President Americas Andrew Gluck said, in a statement, "We are eager to lay down the foundation for polystyrene to be recovered and recycled and build the ecosystem around chemical recycling."
The two companies will jointly explore site options for this additional facility, he said.
Agilyx decided about two years ago to discontinue operations making synthetic oil from mixed plastics after low oil prices made that business model financially uncompetitive.
Agilyx has attracted millions of dollars of investments over the years, including cash from flamboyant billionaire Richard Branson, the head of the Virgin Group of companies.
Waste Management Inc. also invested money in the company, but decided in 2014 to close a separate plant it owned that used Agilyx technology in North Portland, Ore.