Steel manufacturing is just plain dirty, no matter how you cut it. But California entrepreneur Mike Hart thinks he can make it clean and green—in China of all places.

By Andrea Chalupa
Portfolio.com
March 7, 2008

A sign on the door of Mike Hart’s office in Davis, California, reads  “6 percent of the world’s energy will come from this basement.”

It’s a bold statement from a bold guy, and it refers to Hart’s hope  that his Sierra Energy Corp.’s system of turning landfill waste into  clean-burning synthetic gas can one day provide a sizable percentage of  the world’s energy. Considering that his startup has yet to get any of  its alternative energy technologies into mass production, it’s an  audacious, almost ridiculous, prediction. But Hart insists the goal is  feasible. “The technology is dead simple,” he says. “It’s just a matter  of access to capital.”

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