The Innovation

 SEM of "Antenna-Reactor"

SEM of "Antenna-Reactor"

The core of Syzygy's technology platform is a two-part nanoparticle system that is named the "Antenna Reactor". It utilizes a large plasmonic "Antenna" nanoparticle to harvest light and smaller catalytic "reactor" particles to perform chemical reactions. This methodology allows us to energize traditional catalysts with light instead of heat at high efficiency for the first time in history.

Syzygy's IP covers the synthesis and application of these nanoparticle systems using a wide variety of materials for both the Antenna and the Reactor. Changing the Antenna allows us to utilize different wavelengths of light (UV, Vis, IR) to energize the reactor particles. Changing the reactor allows us to perform many different chemical reactions. Altogether, this yields a highly versatile platform technology that can dramatically reduce both cost and emissions for many different commodity chemicals.

 

Not your standard photocatalyst...

Photocatalysis has been an established field of research for many, many decades. Titanium Oxide and other semi-conductor type photocatalysts are well understood by industry and academia. Many organizations have tried and failed to uncover viable commercial applications for these previous photocatalysts. The reason for their failure is that semi-conductor photocatalysts can only use limited wavelengths of light, they display limited productivity, and have fundamental limits on their efficiency. Simply said, while they are capable of both harvesting light and performing chemical reactions, they don't excel at doing either of these actions.

Alternatively, plasmonic photocatalysis with metallic nanostructures does not show any of these limitations. Our plasmonic nanoparticles are extremely efficient at harvesting light. The catalyst nanoparticles are the same types of catalysts used in industry everyday. When combined, you get a system that has no fundamental limitations on efficiency, has very high volumetric productivity, and very high selectivity. In addition to this, by using light instead of heat we reduce the operating temperature by up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit compared against conventional reactors.

Applications for Industry

Applying our technology to industry enables the creation of high efficiency, small scale chemical manufacturing systems that can be turned on or off in a matter of minutes. The extreme reduction in operating temperature reduces system complexity and allows us to construct the system using lower cost materials. Ultimately this allows us to create a disruptive new business model for chemicals: on-site and on-demand chemical production from an efficient low CapEx system. We can perform many reactions today but we will begin by targeting hydrogen generation for industry and to help enable hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.