Virgin Group and chemical conversion technology company Agilyx have announced they are forming a strategic partnership to research and develop lower carbon fuel facilities to help address plastic pollution and the global transition to net zero.
Virgin Group and Agilyx aim to reuse plastic waste to produce synthetic crude oil that will then be refined into a lower carbon fuel.
Plastic waste that otherwise would be un-recycled will be diverted from landfill and will help broaden options in the market for lower carbon fuels from the limited range available today.
Virgin Group wants to provide lower carbon fuel solutions to the global-market and expects Virgin Atlantic and other Virgin companies to be early adopters, as part of the Group’s transitional plans of achieving net zero by 2050.
Virgin Group intends to work with Agilyx – whom it has been an investor in for many years – on the development of the production facilities based on its unique conversion technology.
Cyclyx, an innovative feedstock company that is majority owned by Agilyx, will source the plastic waste used for the fuel in the first facility.
The first waste-to-fuel location is planned to be in the US, with an aspiration to roll-out similar plants in other countries, including the UK.
Agilyx’s proprietary technology is able to break down plastic waste through a pyrolysis process. Pyrolysis converts mixed waste plastic into a synthetic crude oil which, once further refined, can be used as a lower carbon fuel.
Josh Bayliss, CEO of the Virgin Group, says: “Innovation and entrepreneurship are important tools to address the climate crisis.
“Virgin and other companies have an important role to play in meeting those challenges, which is exactly why we are forming this strategic partnership with Agilyx.
“The creation of lower carbon fuel is an important step in the journey towards net zero.
“We are very pleased to be adding this project to the range of investments we continue to make aimed at addressing these issues.”
Tim Stedman, CEO of Agilyx, says: “We are pleased to be partnering with the Virgin Group to enable a technology solution for lower carbon fuels as it transitions on its journey to net zero. This platform is unique as it will be used for lower carbon fuels and has the future opportunity for the production of circular plastics.
“We view plastic waste as a valuable above ground resource that is not widely tapped into.
“Through our technology, we aim to unlock the value of plastic waste that otherwise may have been destined for landfill or incineration.”
Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, says: “In this decade, Sustainable Aviation Fuel is the key solution for decarbonisation of the aviation sector but we have a long way to go.
“Clearing the skies for tomorrow requires radical collaboration across innovators, producers, investors and airlines.
“We are delighted that Virgin Group and Agilyx are leading the charge to pilot new pathways in lower carbon fuels and we look forward to working closely with them to achieve our 10% SAF target by 2030.”