Sierra Energy closes $33 million Series A funding

Sierra Energy closes $33 million Series A funding

The funding will help Sierra Energy further develop and commercialize its FastOx gasification technology.

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Sierra Energy Corporation, Davis, California, announces that it has closed a $33 million Series A investment round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and joined by Cox Investment Holdings Inc., BNP Paribas SA, Twynam Investments, Formica Ventures, and The March Fund I LP. The funding will help Sierra Energy further develop and commercialize its FastOx gasification technology, which converts waste into clean, renewable energy and fuels without burning.

Sierra Energy’s FastOx technology, developed by Sierra Energy and supported by grant funding from the Department of Defense and the California Energy Commission, uses oxygen and steam to heat waste to 4,000°F. At this temperature, waste breaks down at the molecular level, converting organic material into an energy-dense syngas and allowing the recovery of inorganic material as either a non-leaching stone or molten metal. Sierra Energy’s FastOx technology, which is modular and can be scaled to large size, does not produce any process emissions and all outputs are saleable, the company says. The company’s first commercial-scale demonstration facility is located at U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County, California.

“We are very excited to work with partners like Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Cox who invest in innovative technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale,” Sierra Energy’s CEO Mike Hart says. “The world is drowning in trash, which, when landfilled, is a leading generator of methane—a greenhouse gas that is 86 times more harmful to our climate than carbon dioxide. Our FastOx gasification technology can efficiently and cost-effectively convert this trash into electricity, hydrogen, renewable natural gas, diesel, ammonia, and a variety of other valuable end-products. When you combine our technology with recycling and other waste diversion strategies, you have the solution to the world’s waste problem as well as a valuable source of renewable energy.”

“Solid waste landfills are one of the largest producers of methane emissions in the U.S., which are far more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas,” says Carmichael Roberts, who is a member of Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “Sierra Energy has introduced a transformative and cost-competitive waste-to-value solution for turning municipal garbage into renewable energy. The idea that we can reduce greenhouse gases in a meaningful way while creating renewable energy is incredibly exciting. With this oversubscribed funding round, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, along with an impressive syndicate of global investors, is eager to help Sierra transition to its next phase of commercialization.”

One of FastOx gasification’s greatest advantages, according to the company, is its ability to handle a variety of waste types, including municipal solid waste, plastics, medical waste, e-waste, tires, batteries, railroad ties and even hazardous wastes. This feedstock flexibility, and the capacity to turn produced syngas into a variety of high-value end products, makes FastOx gasification versatile and economically efficient to implement, the company says. Local developers configure the system to match local market needs. Since Sierra Energy’s FastOx gasifier is based on well-understood blast furnace technology, it is also robust, with long up-times and low maintenance requirements.

“Sierra Energy is a great example of pioneering new technology that can positively impact our communities and our planet,” says Alex Taylor, president and CEO of Cox Enterprises. “We believe in investing in like-minded businesses that share our vision for a brighter future and leaving things in better shape for the next generation.”