Emerson Partners with Innovative Startups to Speed Deployment

by , | Jun 11, 2024 | Chemical, Sustainability | 0 comments

Emerson is a global company serving many large customers, but we also work with many smaller firms, particularly in areas where rapid change and significant innovation are taking place. While large, global customers often have significant capital project and operating experience, along with large internal support staff, most smaller firms do not. This means these firms often look to Emerson for their wide range of products and services, as well as automation and industry expertise to support their initial project and ongoing operational efforts.

This was the case with Syzygy Plasmonics when it needed to automate its innovative catalyst reactor technology that uses light instead of thermal energy, such as heat generated from burning fossil fuels, for chemical manufacturing. Their all-electric production method is designed to replace fossil fuel-based combustion, helping reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions and operational costs while advancing global sustainability goals. Syzygy estimates its reactor systems could eliminate 1 gigaton of CO2 emissions by 2040.

Syzygy has developed, scaled, and integrated its core technologies, incubated at Rice University, into a universal photocatalytic reactor platform, which includes the Rigel™ photoreactor and the proprietary photocatalyst that enables light-driven chemical reactions at unprecedented efficiency.

For the Syzygy modular reactors, Emerson provided hardware, software, and services, including its DeltaV™ distributed control system, industrial software for process simulation and data analytics; Rosemount instrumentation to measure pressure, temperature, level, and flow, and Fisher™ valves to control pressure and improve safety.

Through its Impact Partner network, Emerson assisted with the initial design and scale-up from lab to process skids, supplementing Syzygy Plasmonics personnel expertise with their experience in reactor control, HazOps, standards compliance, and other areas. Emerson’s worldwide reach was crucial as the first proves skid is built and shipped to South Korea. Puffer-Sweiven, Emerson’s Impact Partner in the Texas Gulf Coast, will lead the FAT at the skid builder’s facility in the Houston area, and their personnel will be in South Korea for the startup. Puffer-Sweiven also built the control panel, it houses an Emerson DeltaV controller with I/O and other related components.

The Syzygy catalyst reactor technology will advance decarbonization in a cost-effective way by electrifying carbon-intensive activities such as chemical manufacturing and by reducing the carbon intensity of hydrogen, methanol, and fuel production. Rather than rely on thermal energy, the Syzygy reactor harnesses the power of light to energize chemical reactions and reduce the carbon footprint in transportation fuels.

“We are excited to advance this opportunity with Emerson, not only for its automation technologies and software but also for its sustainability leadership and domain expertise in chemical engineering, electrification, and hydrogen production,” said Syzygy Chief Executive Officer Trevor Best. “As we expand beyond traditional paradigms of reactor technology and launch a new way to electrify chemical manufacturing, we wanted a technology partner who can help us scale our technology efficiently, safely, and reliably.”

“Emerson is excited to collaborate with Syzygy Plasmonics on such promising technology that could have a significant impact on industries that are some of the most challenging to decarbonize,” said Peter Zornio, chief technology officer at Emerson. “This aligns with Emerson’s culture of innovation that takes on our customers’ biggest challenges.”

Syzygy has received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation and investments from Aramco Ventures, BP Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Equinor Ventures, EVOK Innovations, Goose Capital, Horizons Ventures, LOTTE Chemical, LOTTE Fine Chemical, Pan American Energy, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, The Engine and Toyota Ventures.

Syzygy has three field trials, and leading global partners are driving strong market interest with trials located in North Carolina, California, and South Korea.

More information is available here: Syzygy Plasmonics Selects Emerson to Automate Electrification of Chemical Production Processes. You can also connect and interact with other engineers in the Environmental Groups at the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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