Syzygy Plasmonics, a US technology company developing photocatalyst, has raised US$ 23 million in Series B round led by Horizons Ventures from investors including Equinor Ventures, H2 Bulletin reports.
Syzygy works on a photocatalytic chemical reactor for industrial gas, chemical, and energy industries to reduce cost and emissions. The chemical reactor will be powered by light, replacing heat from fossil fuels in chemical manufacturing and production. The technology is based on photocatalysts invented at Rice University.
Investors in the previous funding rounds included the Engine, Goose Capital, and Evok Innovations, where it raised about US$ 12 million. The funds will be used to commercialise the company photocatalytic reactor, among other works. The company plans to launch its first full-size, commercial-ready chemical reactors in 2022.
Like many other industrial products, hydrogen is also primarily reliant on fossil fuel. Syzygy assesses that heat requires to power the combustion processes for chemical production accounts for 3.6% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Trevor Best, Syzygy Plasmonics’ co-founder and CEO, said, “With renewable electricity as an energy source, our technology is cleaner, and because of the stability and activity of our photocatalysts, we can drive dozens of possibilities, tuning reactions that produce different chemicals.”
He said that the company would initially focus on eliminating emissions from hydrogen production, where the technology can cut the cost of zero-emission hydrogen in half compared to other alternatives such as electrolysis.
Patrick Poon of Horizons Ventures said, “The keys to unlock the potential of hydrogen energy lie within production cost reduction and safety enhancements. Syzygy uses a photocatalysis process to produce H2 on-premises, therefore mitigating risks of explosion imposed by the transportation of liquid hydrogen while lowering production costs to increase overall energy efficiency.”