Diatomix, Beaverton, OR, US
By combining high-surface-area diatomaceous earth with doped titanium dioxide, Diatomix’s photocatalyst technology uses indoor light sources to degrade volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Our doped TiO2 is a semiconductor that has been shown to use UV and blue light to mineralize many VOCs cited by the EPA as hazardous air pollutants. Diatomix’s novel and transformative contribution to TiO2 photocatalysis is the use of diatoms as our catalyst substrate. Diatoms are composed of SiO2 and have been shown to adsorb VOCs, increasing the charge conversion efficiency of VOC degradation by placing the VOCs directly next to and even in contact with the catalyst. Diatoms’ greatest strength as a substrate is its ability to act as a nanophotonic light-trapping structure that can enhance absorption of light with wavelengths from 380 nm to 500 nm by 1.7 times. The proprietary coating process deposits TiO2 preferentially inside the diatoms, where the light is concentrated. This combination of VOC adsorption and light trapping leads to improved photocatalytic efficiency in our TiO2 photocatalyst and higher degradation rates of VOCs.
Primary Application Area: Materials, Chemical
Technology Development Status: Commercial Product
Technology Readiness Level: TRL 8
Vetted Programs/Awards: NSF SBIR Phase 1, 2017
Organization Type: Early-mid-stage Startup
Showcase Booth #: 20M
GOVT/EXTERNAL FUNDING SOURCES
External Funding to Date: The company has raised $700,000 from angels and VC groups since 2015.