Tampa, Florida-based MagneGas® Corporation has entered into its largest equipment sale to date, with a Letter of Intent (LOI) to manufacture and deliver equipment and supplies to an as-yet-unnamed company based in Germany.
With it, the innovative alternative energy company has the opportunity to open up more new markets for its proprietary gasification and sterilisation systems and pioneering MagneGas2® fuel.
Asked if this was a real breakthrough for the company, CEO Ermanno Santilli exclusively told gasworld, “It is very significant for the company as it represents three critical milestones. First, it is the largest equipment sale in the history of the company. That says much on its own.”
“Second, it opens not only the German market to us but we believe it will lead to the opening of the European market for both our equipment and for our innovative gas MagneGas2, which our testing has shown is a superior product to acetylene, propane and natural gas in a variety of uses. We believe this will be one of those milestone accomplishments for the company when we look back in a few years.”
“Third and finally,” he added, “this is significant to the industrial gas industry, which has been looking for a safer alternative to dangerous acetylene production systems for many years. Our renewable fuel and nearly noiseless MagneGas gasification systems in Germany we believe will provide a catalyst to the European industry in more readily adopting MagneGas2.”
Those in the gases industry would of course argue that acetylene – like any other industrial gas – is not dangerous if handled and used with the necessary care and attention. Further still, the BCGA (British Compressed Gases Association) and BAM (the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing) have in recent years discredited the ‘myths’ that an impact denting the acetylene cylinder wall will lead to a decomposition or explosion, and acetylene cylinders in fires require 24 hours cooling before they are safe.
Contrary to these common misconceptions, it was proven – and reinforced in the Acetylene Safety Regulations 2014 – that single acetylene cylinders in fires generally stabilise within one hour of cooling water being applied, with a further one hour monitoring protocol established by the UK Fire Service – meaning that for most single cylinder incidents, the HazMat officer can declare the area safe after just two hours.
Nonetheless, there is little doubting the inherent safety attributes that MagneGas2 offers, and it’s hard to look past the other major advantages of this alternative fuel, chiefly its productivity and renewability.
MagneGas2 has a higher flame temperature than acetylene and has been independently certified at 10,500ºF; it can cut faster and cleaner, with little to no slag and uses less oxygen than its competitors. More specifically, it can cut a two-inch steel plate at a rate of 18 inches per minute, a full 38% faster than acetylene and 44% faster than propane. Additionally, it emits significantly less carbon dioxide (CO2) than competing gases.
What’s more, in its gasification mode, the technology can take renewable liquid wastes – such as readily available liquid feedstocks, soybean and other vegetable oils – and convert them into this hydrogen-based gas alternative.
So is there a real belief that MagneGas2 could begin to rival the stronghold that acetylene has for so long held over the cutting fuels market?
Santilli affirmed, “The answer is absolutely yes. Our plan is to succeed in Europe as we are in the US. The industrial gas industry has been looking for a replacement to pure acetylene and it’s inherent high instability and more dangerous combustion products.”
”Like the US, Germany and Europe value safety, productivity and renewables more and more every year – and we believe there is no other fuel that delivers on those requirements like MagneGas2”
“MagneGas2 is the first gas to answer that call with a safer, faster and more cost-effective fuel, which also happens to be the only renewable metal working fuel in the world to our knowledge. Like the US, Germany and Europe value safety, productivity and renewables more and more every year – and we believe there is no other fuel that delivers on those requirements like MagneGas2.”
He continued, “Instead of large acetylene plants being pushed further and further away from population zones due to concerns of safety, MagneGas gasification systems can provide metal working fuels closer to population zones reducing transportation costs.”
The budding success in the US market that Santilli refers to was evident earlier this year when MagneGas announced it had purchased an extra 2,000 cylinders to keep up with accelerating demand for its fuel and overcome a ‘substantial backlog’ for the product.
Pressed on this market growth, he added, “While our approach has been measured, we have seen a tremendous response to our fuel and its’ been a challenge to meet demand. We just announced an order of 2,000 additional cylinders to meet that demand and with each demonstration we do to a potential customer we get more orders.”
“We are also proud to say we are working with premier customers who are using and adopting our MagneGas2 fuel that include a subcontractor to the US Army, the US Navynwhich placed its first order and is now in procurement, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), one of the largest auto manufacturers in the world who has just expanded the use of MagneGas2 to other sites, and several of the country’s largest utilities including three of the top five in the States.”
“While our approach has been measured, we have seen a tremendous response to our fuel and its’ been a challenge to meet demand. We just announced an order of 2,000 additional cylinders to meet that demand and with each demonstration we do we get more orders”
News of its largest order to date is clearly a breakthrough for both MagneGas and the alternative fuels market, but Santilli says it also signals the start of the added value that MagneGas2 could bring to renewable markets like the biomass and biogas sector.
“Absolutely it adds value, and it means much to renewables and the entire biomass/biogas sector,” he affirms. “Just as we see it adding tremendous value to our MagneGas2, we see this as a lift for the entire sector of alternative fuels. Whenever you breathe new life into a sector it’s a plus.”
“With a proven innovative product such as MagneGas2 that cuts metal faster, burns at incredibly higher and more useful temperatures, is safer to use, is cost-effective if not less expensive than other fuels, and is totally renewable, you are indeed onto something. That helps renew interest in the sector and in our product in particular. That’s good for everyone.”
At a time when levels of innovation and R&D investment across the industry are readily called into question, it is clearly refreshing to see what appears to be a radical new product making progress in the market, that ticks all of the key boxes: safety, productivity and sustainability.
So what is the ultimate potential for MagneGas and its MagneGas2 fuel?
In closing, Santilli is bullish about future prospects. “Our potential knows no boundaries and just as acetylene was the legacy fuel of choice for a century we hope we willl occupy a similar position,” he says. “Of course, that should mean good things for the company overall, both with regards to our fuel and our equipment. Also keep in mind that this represents one of three lines of business for MagneGas, a publicly traded entity on the US NASDAQ.”