Founded in 2004, Sierra Energy was formed to develop and commercialize the FastOx gasifier derived from the steelmaking blast furnace. Mike Hart, the founder of Sierra Energy, saw an opportunity to create a universal gasification technology in an otherwise segmented industry.
Sierra Energy specializes in waste gasification and is currently focusing on small-scale modular systems and biofuel applications. The company says its FastOx gasifiers convert nearly any form of waste into an energy-dense and versatile syngas that can be used to create biofuels, electricity and other renewable end products.
Sierra Energy has been demonstrating its pilot gasifier at the Renewable Energy Testing Center at McClellan Business Park in Sacramento, Calif. The company recently secured the land and completed environmental impact reports for its first commercial facility in the Sacramento area.
Q: What makes you different from your competitors?
A: In an industry that is obsessed with large-scale, massive-sized facilities, Sierra Energy is focused on small-scale applications. Small systems allow more opportunities for small and rural communities to implement waste conversion without the need for long waste supply contracts and reducing complications with financing and permitting. Additionally, the flexibility of FastOx enables it to handle nearly any type of waste regardless of geographic region and seasonal variation.
Q: What new projects or systems have you been focusing on this year?
A: Sierra Energy is commercializing a modular, turn-key system called the FastOx Pathfinder. This waste gasification system is designed to handle up to 25 tons of feedstock each day and can be configured to produce either electricity or fuels. The FT model is capable of producing 42 gallons of renewable fuels from one metric ton of charged waste.
Q: Where do you see your company five years from now?
A: Sierra Energy hopes to see hundreds of its FastOx Pathfinders operating in the field creating renewable energy and sustainable income for its customers. It intends to expand its Pathfinder configuration options to include renewable gasoline and green chemicals. Additionally, it hopes to field systems internationally to improve the livelihood of residents in underdeveloped communities by eliminating unregulated trash dumps and by providing power, heat, or other resources.