Syzygy raises $5.8M in Series A to develop photocatalytic platform for clean chemical and fuel manufacturing
Syzygy Plasmonics, a technology company developing the world’s highest performance photocatalyst, raised $5.8 million in Series A funding. The financing was co-led by The Engine and by The GOOSE Society of Texas. Previous investor Evok Innovations was also a major participant in the round. Other participants include angel investors from the Creative Destruction Lab program and the Houston area.
Syzygy is advancing a new photocatalytic chemical reactor that could significantly reduce the cost and carbon emissions in the production process for a wide range of major chemicals such as fuel, fertilizer, and plastic. Licensed from Rice University, the “antenna-reactor” plasmonic photocatalyst has been published in leading academic journals such as Science, Nature, and PNAS.
The Antenna-Reactor is the combination of a larger light-harvesting plasmonic nanoparticle (the ‘Antenna’), and smaller traditional catalyst nanoparticles (the ‘Reactor’). The development of the reactor incorporates expertise from chemical engineering, optics, materials science, theoretical physics, and nanophotonics.
Antenna-Reactor photocatalyst. Source; Syzygy.
The catalyst is a platform technology and it has been demonstrated on many different chemical reactions.
Syzygy’s first go-to market is focused on a distributed hydrogen production system for small-scale hydrogen consumers. Examples of these consumers include manufacturers of semiconductors, LEDs, float glass, food oil, metal, and users of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.
Based upon two decades of research from professors Naomi Halas and Peter Nordlander at Rice University, the photocatalysts are orders of magnitude more active, stable, and efficient than previous photocatalysts, the company says.
The Series A funding comes on the heels of other significant developments for Syzygy. Earlier this year, Syzygy received grants from the Department of Energy for the development of a reactor to create hydrogen from ammonia and from the National Science Foundation SBIR Program for the development of a reactor that processes carbon dioxide.