Silura Technologies lines up funding for converting natural gas to chemicals

Source: Siluria Technologies

Siluria Technologies, the first company with technology for direct, cost-effective conversion of natural gas into chemicals, materials, and fuels, announced the close of its Series A round of funding. The investment allows the company to optimize its groundbreaking natural-gas-to-materials platform to meet the performance levels required for commercialization. Its technology to create materials from natural gas will first target the $160 billion annual market for ethylene, the world’s largest commodity chemical. 

Siluria’s investors include Alloy Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Altitude Life Science Ventures, Lux Capital, and a strategic investment from Presidio Ventures, the venture arm of global trading and operating firm Sumitomo Corporation. The total raised in the round comes to $13.3 million.

“With the right technology, natural gas becomes an essential partner to petroleum-based methods for materials manufacturing,” said Dr. Alex Tkachenko, president of Siluria. “This new funding will help Siluria drive cost and carbon out of the manufacturing supply chain while creating significant new market outlets for natural gas providers.” 

In place of resource-intensive processes based on petroleum, the Siluria platform offers a more cost-effective process that is directly compatible with the same industrial chemical manufacturing equipment used today. This breakthrough is made possible by Siluria’s novel synthetic technology, which produces inorganic materials in the same way nature makes them: by growing metals and metal oxide crystals on a biological template. The technology offers unique ways to manipulate catalyst surfaces, thus improving catalyst performance in structure-sensitive reactions, such as selective oxidations of light alkanes to olefins and oxygenates. This enables Siluria to optimize a chemical manufacturing process which many have tried to crack: methane activation. 

Natural gas is the most abundant domestic resource in the United States with near zero import requirements. Siluria’s ethylene process leverages natural gas as a primary feedstock at a 40-60 percent lower price point compared to petroleum1. This innovative use of methane for chemical manufacturing presents significant new market possibilities for natural gas providers beyond electricity. 

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