Molten Metal

Essay by mukulm2015University, Master'sA, November 2014

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What was the overall business model for MMT from 1989 to 1995?

MMT was the product of a bright scientist from MIT (Christopher Nagel) and a savvy and successful businessman from Harvard (William Haney). MMT entered the waste management market during a time of increasing regulatory oversight, intense industry competition, and heightened interest in environmental solutions. Armed with a technology it argued to be the most innovative of its class and able to go beyond the traditional paradigm of stabilization or simple destruction, MMT set off to capture waste management opportunities. MMT promoted its CEP technology on its regulatory and environmental merits, claiming that it avoided the environmental pitfalls of incinerating and landfilling waste, while also sheltering MMT and the end users from regulatory oversight due to the recycling nature of the process.

The company had also been aggressive in its external relations with both government and industry. Haney, with the assistance of Washington lobbyist Peter Knight, had been successful in gaining the attention of government officials all the way to Vice President Gore.

The company also successfully leveraged its relationships with industry giants such as Lockheed Martin, Rollins, Fluor Daniel, Westinghouse SEG, Hoescht Celanese, and DuPont to establish its three commercial start-ups: two in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (M4 Environmental LP/Commerce Park and MMT Tennessee/Bear Creek Road), and one in Bay City, Texas with Hoechst. These strategic elements created media attention and investor enthusiasm that drove the stock price up roughly 100% through the year 1995.

What were the challenges and uncertainties/risks facing commercialization in 1995?

What will you do in case of being Bill Haney or Chris Nagel?


The bench-scale technology had been proven at the company's R&D facility in Fall River. However, two key risks remained:

Successful ramp up of technology in its commercial...