A Houston-based company that electrifies chemical production has closed its largest funding round to date.
Syzygy Plasmonics closed a $76 million Series C funding round led by New York-based Carbon Direct Capital. The round included participation from Aramco Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, LOTTE CHEMICAL and Toyota Ventures. The company’s existing investors who joined the round included EVOK Innovations, The Engine, Equinor Ventures, Goose Capital, Horizons Ventures, Pan American Energy and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas. Carbon Direct Capital will join Syzygy’s board of directors and serve as Series C director, according to a press release.
“We were very drawn to the diverse use cases for the Syzygy reactor and the lifetime value of each Syzygy customer,” says Jonathan Goldberg, CEO of Carbon Direct Capital, in the press release. “Emissions from hydrogen production amount to more than 900 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. Syzygy’s photocatalysis technology is a key solution for decarbonizing hydrogen production as well as other critical industries.”
Syzygy Plasmonics features technology that uses the power of light to stimulate chemical reactions – rather than the traditional process powered by heat. The Syzygy approach reduces raw material waste and generates fewer emissions when powered by renewable electricity. According to the press release, some Series C participants have also reached commercial agreements to use Syzygy’s technology to achieve their decarbonization goals.
The raised investment funds will help the company “advance development and delivery of all-electric reactor systems that eliminate fossil-based combustion from chemical manufacturing and reduce the carbon intensity of hydrogen, methanol and fuel,” according to the press release.
“Our mission is to decarbonize chemical and fuel production,” says Trevor Best, CEO and co-founder of Syzygy Plasmonics, in the press release. “Syzygy’s goal is to reduce 1 gigatonne of CO2 emissions by 2040 and the Series C funding is an important milestone towards that goal.
“The completion of this round of fundraising with such strong support from financial and strategic investors and with commercial agreements in hand is a signal to the market,” he continued. “Forward-thinking companies have gone beyond setting decarbonization targets and are implementing them. Syzygy is unique in that we develop cost-effective, low-carbon solutions that we can offer across industries.”
Syzygy was founded on a groundbreaking discovery from Rice University by co-founders and professors Naomi Halas and Peter Nordlander, who invented high-performance photocatalysts. Company employees then designed a novel reactor that uses easy-to-find, inexpensive materials like glass, aluminum and LEDs instead of expensive metal alloys. After several field trials of the scalable, universal chemical reactor platform, Syzygy expects to deliver commercial units in 2023.
“Syzygy has a strong focus on aligning energy, technology and sustainability,” says Suman Khatiwada, CTO and co-founder of Syzygy, in the press release. “The projects we are running target zero-emission hydrogen from green ammonia, low-emission hydrogen from combustion-free steam methane reforming, and sustainable fuels from carbon dioxide and methane. This technology is the future of chemical manufacturing.”
Syzygy raised a $23 million Series B round last year, following a $5.8 million Series A round in 2019.