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The Sironix Renewables team, from left to right: Shawn Eady, Trenton Wilke, Sabrina Conrad, CEO and co-founder Christoph Krumm, Jessica Pon and Emily Case. (Sironix Photo)

Seattle-based clean-tech startup Sironix Renewables has raised $645,000 in a seed funding round and $1.15 million from the U.S. Dept. of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office.

The new funds will allow the company to scale production of its Eosix technology — a plant-based innovation that can replace potentially hazardous, petroleum-derived chemicals found in shampoos, detergents and cleaning products. The company combines starch-based ingredients with natural oils to create its products. The chemicals, which are surfactants, can be used in cleansers, cosmetics, agricultural products, inks, paints and other coatings.

Sironix spun out of the University of Minnesota. The startup participated in last year’s Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator and was a finalist in GeekWire’s 2019 Elevator Pitch series. Launched in 2016, the company has received more than $6.4 million in grants and funding.

“Consumers are increasingly demanding sustainability and safety from the products they purchase, but don’t want to sacrifice on performance or pay a premium. Our Eosix technology checks the box on all of these requirements,” co-founder and CEO Christoph Krumm said in a statement.

This latest seed round includes support from the University of Minnesota Discovery Capital Investment program and Midwest-based angel investors.

Krumm has a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Washington and a PhD in the subject from the University of Minnesota. He said that he wanted to return to Seattle from Minnesota given his connection to the UW and “it’s also a great location for hiring, with lots of engineering and chemistry talent.”

The Sironix technology reportedly performs well in hard water, which can inactivate cleansers, and it provides an alternative to ingredients that can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a likely carcinogen that New York and California have taken steps to regulate.

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