Decarbonization-focused startup Syzygy Plasmonics announced that it has raised $76 million in a Series C financing round aimed at accelerating the delivery of the company’s low-carbon hydrogen technology.

Syzygy is focused on reducing emissions in chemical manufacturing through electrification. The company’s solution, combines two innovations – a high-performance photocatalyst and a reactor that uses common low-cost materials like glass, aluminum, and LEDs instead of high-cost metal alloys – to use light instead of fossil fuel-based thermal energy for the production of chemical and fuels.

Trevor Best, Syzygy Plasmonics CEO and co-founder, said:

“Closing this fundraising round with such strong support from financial and strategic investors and with commercial agreements in hand is a signal to the market. Forward-thinking companies have moved beyond setting decarbonization goals to executing on them. Syzygy is unique in that we are developing low-cost, low-carbon solutions to offer across multiple industries.”

Hydrogen is viewed as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, particularly for sectors with difficult to abate emissions, in which renewable energy solutions such as wind or solar are less practical.Despite being the most abundant element in the universe, however, there are no pure hydrogen deposits on earth and it must be extracted from other materials. The extraction process often creates pollutants and GHG emissions. Around 90 million metric tons of hydrogen are produced annually, primarily extracted from natural gas through steam methane reforming.

According to Syzygy, the capital raised will fund further 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.

The company said that field trials have begun with commercial units scheduled to ship in 2023.

Suman Khatiwada, CTO and co-founder, said:

 “Syzygy is hyper-focused on aligning energy, technology, and sustainability. The projects we are delivering are targeting zero-emissions hydrogen from green ammonia, low-emissions hydrogen from combustion-free steam methane reforming, and sustainable fuels made from carbon dioxide and methane. This technology is the future of chemical manufacturing.”

Syzygy currently employs more than eighty people and said it anticipates doubling its workforce of chemists and engineers over the next year as it expands its commercial offerings.

The funding round was led by growth equity firm Carbon Direct Capital, and included participation from several other investors, some of which have also entered into commercial agreements with Syzygy to support their decarbonization goals.

Jonathan Goldberg, CEO of Carbon Direct Capital, said:

“We were very attracted to the multiple use cases for the Syzygy reactor and the lifetime-value of each Syzygy customer. Emissions from hydrogen production total more than 900 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Syzygy’s photocatalysis technology is a key solution to decarbonize hydrogen production as well as other critical industries.”

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