BROOKS, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In the latest showing of Oregon’s entrepreneurial and environmental prowess, Agri-Plas, an Oregon-based plastics recycler, is the first company in the nation to convert unwanted and typically unrecyclable agricultural plastics into crude oil and ship it to a refinery for commercial processing.
“The fact that Agri-Plas has been able to take plastic that would otherwise go directly into the waste stream and convert it into a commercial product that can eventually be pumped into a gas tank is truly groundbreaking,” said Tim McCabe, director of the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department.
Agri-Plas is now taking discarded and unwanted plastic that chokes landfills or is abandoned, burned or buried on Northwest farms and nurseries, and is converting it back into synthetic crude oil. Plastic products include dirty agricultural film, greenhouse cover, mixed nursery and jug material, prepackaged food containers and lids, and other low- or zero-value plastics too dirty to economically bring to a higher value through normal recycling efforts. The company recently delivered its first full tanker (8,200 gallons) of oil to a refinery in Tacoma, Wash., which translates to a final delivery of 196 barrels of oil.
“The state of Oregon has been a key player in helping us bring this process to market,” said Mary Sue Gilliland, Agri-Plas vice president operations and business development. “We hope that with financial assistance from the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) we will be able to jumpstart construction of a new facility that will allow the company to increase crude oil production.”
The state of Oregon has made it a top priority to recruit and foster the growth of sustainability-oriented businesses through a variety of financial mechanisms such as BETC, which covers up to 50 percent of a qualifying project’s applicable costs.
Agri-Plas is gearing up to deliver its second shipment of crude oil this month. The company is currently testing technology developed by Plas2Fuel, a Kelso, Washington alternative energy company, that created the unique process of converting plastic into high-value, synthetic crude oil. Agri-Plas is planning to expand its operations within the next several months. Within the next year, Agri-Plas hopes to create up to 58 new green-collar jobs at its headquarters in Brooks, Ore.
The synthetic crude oil that Agri-Plas is reclaiming from unwanted plastic can be refined for a variety of uses. The oil can be refined and used in literally thousands of high-end products ranging from makeup to food items, as well as gasoline, diesel, lubricants and other petroleum-based products.
Today, Agri-Plas is operating one plastic-to-oil converting unit. The company soon expects to add three more units, which will create one full system, and will operate this venture under the name of Agri-Plas2Crude. In April of 2009, Agri-Plas2Crude plans to break ground on a new facility, which will eventually house a total of five, four-unit Plas2Fuel reclamation systems. In total, the 20 units will create enough reclaimed crude oil to deliver a full tanker for refining every single day. Oregon will once again lead the nation in recycling efforts and solutions for the agriculture community.
About Brooks, Oregon: Brooks is conveniently located just 10 miles south of Salem, the capital of Oregon, and 40 miles south of Portland, with easy access to the state’s main transportation route, Interstate 5. Brooks falls within Marion County, which has a population of 311,304 and boasts a wide array of businesses from world-class wineries to high-technology manufacturers.