It was designed to slowly drain energy from the twelve Chaos Emeralds that held the island aloft, allowing it to safely descend. However, the proposal was rejected, and Dimitri stole the device in rage. Using it, he destroyed eleven of the Emeralds, draining their powers into his body. He was driven insane, and became Enerjak.
Later, when Mammoth Mogul achieved near omnipotent status and threatened Mobius, Athair delivered the Chaos Syphon to Miles "Tails" Prower, who used it to drain Mogul's power, creating the Master Emerald. The people of Albion also copied the design, using it in an attempt to drain the Chaos energy from Knuckles the Echidna. However, it was overloaded and rendered useless, thanks to sabotage by Charmy Bee. Mogul later created his own device, and attempted to use it to drain Chaos Knuckles. He succeeded, but the device was destroyed.