Chemical & Engineering News announces 2022 list of 10 chemistry start-ups to watch

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2022 — Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), an independent news outlet of the American Chemical Society (ACS), unveiled its annual list of 10 chemistry start-ups to watch. The companies were chosen from among hundreds of firms suggested by readers and identified by C&EN reporters, who scoured the chemical, biotech and materials world for young companies with great promise. The magazine’s writers and editors narrowed the list down to the final 10, and the Nov. 7 C&EN cover story profiles these companies and their potentially world-changing innovations.  

“Some of the solutions these firms are working on leverage brand-new science; others are pushing existing technologies to the next level. Some have large pools of money. Others have more modest funds. Whatever the case, these firms have chemistry at their core,” says Bibiana Campos Seijo, editor in chief of C&EN. “Success is possible for the firms in C&EN’s 2022 10 Start-Ups to Watch, and we are confident that they have a good chance at longevity and long-term sustainability.”

Here are the 10 Start-Ups to Watch for 2022, along with a brief explainer of why each is being recognized:

Air Company: Using catalytic hydrogenation to create chemicals from electricity and captured CO2.

Alltrna: Harnessing tRNA to overcome genetically driven disease.

Delix Therapeutics: Advancing trip-free psychedelic analogs to treat mental disorders.

DMC Biotechnologies: Bioprocessing veterans aim to make cells act like chemical catalysts.

Exo Therapeutics: Drugging enzyme exosites to treat disease.

Micropep Technologies: Using micropeptides as a biological herbicide for row crops.

Phytolon: Making natural food colors that break synthetics’ hold on the market.

Sepion Technologies: Enabling the switch to lithium-metal batteries.

Travertine Technologies: Turning mining waste and CO2 into sulfuric acid and building materials.

ZwitterCo: Using zwitterions to create antifouling water filters.

And featured in the “on our radar” section: Caelux (better solar panels with perovskites), Chinova Bioworks (natural preservative from discarded mushroom stems), Cinthesis (mechanochemistry for more sustainable reactions), Prometheus Materials (cement from microalgae), and Traceless Materials (naturally biodegradable plastic from corn meal gluten).

To obtain contact information for any of the companies, email

Keep an eye out for next year’s 10 Start-Ups to Watch. Nominate a company for 2023’s list at; nominations are due by Aug. 1, 2023.


The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. The Society is a global leader in promoting excellence in science education and providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a leader in scientific information solutions, its CAS division partners with global innovators to accelerate breakthroughs by curating, connecting and analyzing the world’s scientific knowledge. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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