The path to zero waste.
Sierra Energy aims to eliminate landfills and generate renewable energy by making waste gasification globally accessible.
Sierra Energy was founded in 2004 to develop a technology capable of reliably and economically converting nearly any type of waste into energy. This led to the design of our FastOx® gasification system.
Sierra Energy’s technology is based on the design of the centuries-old blast furnace. The application of blast furnace technology to waste destruction was discovered by Bruce Claflin, Chief Industrial Engineer at Kaiser Steel, and John Jasbinsek, a consultant for Kaiser Steel.
In 2009 Sierra Energy began testing at the Renewable Energy Testing Center (RETC) at the former McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, CA. This independent laboratory, established and funded by the Department of Defense, provided an ideal location for developing and testing a series of FastOx gasifier prototypes.
In 2012, the company demonstrated that FastOx gasification can efficiently convert waste into high-grade, energy-dense syngas with minimal emissions and profitable non-leaching stone and metal byproducts.
In 2013 Sierra Energy received a $5 million investment from the California Energy Commission in our FastOx technology to demonstrate the production of renewable transportation fuels. We also received a $3 million investment from the U.S. Department of Defense to install a FastOx gasification plant at U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County, CA. This first commercial FastOx system is designed to process post-recycled waste into renewable energy products to support the Army’s zero waste efforts.
FastOx gasification converts waste into high-value energy products such as electricity, diesel, hydrogen, and ammonia.
The FastOx process consists of a reaction between carbon and oxygen at high temperatures to produce synthesis gas (syngas) and inert, vitrified stone and metals. This highly exothermic reaction produces carbon monoxide and heat without burning. Steam injection into the gasifier moderates the temperature and produces hydrogen, which benefits the overall process and increases the quality of the syngas.
Purified oxygen injection in place of nitrogen-rich air greatly reduces the potential for creation of toxic emissions such as NOx.
The high temperature of FastOx gasification causes waste to break down at the molecular level. Organic materials are driven off as syngas. Inorganic materials collect at the bottom of the gasifier in a molten form. This molten material is tapped from the gasifier and, when cooled, forms an inert stone-like material. This stone is certified as non-leaching by the EPA; i.e., it is safe to use as construction aggregate or road base.
The Fort Hunter Liggett project sets a new mile marker on the company’s path to zero waste. Sierra Energy plans to further improve and scale its gasification technology through public or private commercial projects and academic partnerships.
Sierra Energy is also working to advance zero waste research efforts through a proposed research park in the Sacramento area. Sierra Energy’s concept is a Zero Waste Innovation Park (ZWIP) that will serve as a regional R&D campus.Sierra Energy continues to improve on the FastOx technology through research and development at the Sierra Energy Research Park in Davis, California.