Home / Blog / Seattle clean tech startup lands $1.4M for eco

Seattle clean tech startup lands $1.4M for eco

Aug 19, 2023Aug 19, 2023

by Lisa Stiffler on August 30, 2023 at 12:31 pmAugust 30, 2023 at 10:31 am

Sustainability: News covering the rapidly growing climate tech sector, funding in the space and other areas of innovation to protect our planet. SEE MORE

The news: Seattle-based clean-tech startup Sironix Renewables raised $1.47 million in new funding.

The tech: Sironix has developed a suite of surfactants, which are the chemicals that make shampoo foamy and lifts oily stains out of fabrics. The company is shifting from a coconut-based product to using soybeans to make its line of surfactants, which is called Eosix.

The surfactants can be used in consumer goods including personal care products like shampoo and body wash as well as laundry detergent. It’s designed to work in challenging environments including hard water and cold temperatures.

Toxic tailwinds: Sironix’s surfactants can replace similar chemicals made from fossil fuels, including ingredients that can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a likely carcinogen. New York state has set limits on the amount of the contaminant that’s allowed in certain consumer goods.

“That’s been a huge tailwind for us,” said co-founder and CEO Christoph Krumm. “A lot of brands are starting to kind of rethink entirely how they build their product.”

The startup also secured third-party certification of its surfactants’ greenhouse gas impacts, which are 45% lower than comparable ingredients — a plus for manufacturers with carbon goals.

Next steps: The new funding allows Sironix to keep scaling production of Eosix surfactants. For the past year, the startup has been working with an unnamed global personal-care manufacturer to develop prototype products, and is working with other customers as well, Krumm said.

One potential application is as an ingredient in eco-friendly powdered soaps or shampoos that are reconstituted with water.

Minnesota roots: Sironix spun out of the University of Minnesota and investors include the university’s Discovery Capital Investment program and Midwest-based venture capitalists.

Krumm has a chemical engineering bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. Co-founder Paul Dauenhauer is a chemical engineering professor at UMN and won a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” in 2020.

More details: The company’s total funding to date, including a previous investment round and government and private grants, is more than $4.8 million.

Sironix launched in 2016 and in March 2021 moved into a new 3,700-square-foot R&D facility. It has three full-time employees, plus part-time workers.

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