Andrea Rossi - Mountain Top Highs

Petroldragon was based on Rossi’s experiments with turning waste into fuel. This was a natural progression from his experiments in reclaiming lost energy from burning waste. The 1970s and early 1980s witnessed an energy crisis in much of the world, and Rossi was convinced that he could, through scientific means, replicate the process of turning waste matter into oil.

In Bacialli’s biography, the story is very vivid, and quoted here as a whole. 

“At the beginning of 1978, on a cold winter day, the sixty employees of Metallotecnica … heard screams coming from the outside of the plant. Many of them, amazed, some with a fork in one hand and a towel in the other, approached the fogged windows of the canteen, pricking up their ears and…attempting to pinpoint the point from which those almost inhuman cries were coming from.

“While a group was preparing to go down the metal stairs that lead into the courtyard, a man, smeared with a nondescript black substance from the top of his hair to the tips of his feet, came running out from shed number two. His arms raised to the sky, mouth and eyes wide open in a grimace that scared several female employees, the stranger rolled in the snow for a few seconds, and, after a couple of somersaults, stood motionless, supine, before the astonished eyes of the workers.

“’He must have escaped from the Paolo Pini,’ [the Milan Asylum for the Insane] said a foreman, a natural conclusion after having considered and immediately rejected the hypothesis of an accident at work. After the first hesitation, some of them approached, with some hesitancy, that dark and vaguely disturbing shape.

“ They all stood dumbfounded, with markedly stupid expressions, when they finally recognized that “madman” to be their employer, Dr. Andrea Rossi. In a first moment, at the height of dismay, they thought he had been struck by a a fit of madness, probably as a result of a lot of stress from the job. But they had to change their minds.

“Rossi had not suddenly gone mad. The black liquid that tinted his face, clothes, hands, looked like paint, but it was quite another thing. It was oil. Petroleum – absolutely real, identical to that of ‘Sheikhs’, but with a single, dramatic difference compared to that which was produced by OPEC, Russia, or the United States: it had not gushed from underground.

“In the shed there were no derricks but only old discarded incinerators and sheets of twisted, rusted metal. And down there were no oilfields, no tanks built during the war and then forgotten. From where, then, did that ‘“black gold” come? Was it a miracle, a blessing from the sky for that gray rectangle of Brianza?

“At that time, Rossi was convinced of it. Dazed by the excitement, and by the conviction of having somehow been an important piece of a much vaster project, he was unaware of what was happening at that moment all around him: the praise from his closest collaborators, the pats on the back, the thousands of questions posed by his workers, still in disbelief and astonished.

“Only that night, slumped in his blue velvet chair, did he feel he could once more collect his thoughts. And he could not help bringing to mind once again yet another detailed reconstruction of the scene – the moment in which, while lifting up the device’s tiny storage tank, he was hit by over a liter of the precious liquid, of which he could smell the penetrating and unmistakable odour.
“He smiled, remembering his assistant’s indescribable expression, and the day when, after many fruitless attempts, he had given the damn apparatus a kick and said that he didn’t want to know anything about it any more.

“And he realized, above all, that that date would have marked the beginning of a long ‘adventure’, exciting certainly, but full of pitfalls and of obstacles to overcome.

“Pleasant or painful, he would have lived it intensely.” [5]

Thus, by the tender age of 28, Andrea Rossi had achieved more than most people achieve in a lifetime.

By 1983, at age 33, Rossi had built a facility that could generate several tons of fuel oil every single day. The plant was self-sustaining, generating its own energy for all processes. And, he could produce this oil boom for 30% less than fossil fuels.

Rossi’s oil was dubbed Retrofluopetrolio by the enamored press. Rossi’s ability to work long, exhausting hours in unpopular matters resulted in a process and product that could save the planet from the waste and abuse of Man. He had invested not only his time and work, but millions of his own lire in the process.

Industries all over Italy clamored for one of his biomass plants. Several times, Rossi discovered that potential partners were only trying to buy his technology in order to bury it.[6]  President Jimmy Carter offered him a lifetime visa to come to the United States and bring his technology with him. But, Rossi chose to remain faithful to his home country. It’s too bad his country did not share such loyalty. Almost from the beginning, he would find evidence of sabotage in various plants.

Permits for the transportation and storing of waste materials were obtained and taxes were paid on materials brought in as well as those produced. The taxes paid by Refluopetrolio were fuel taxes, not waste taxes, because the government recognized that this was fuel. Rossi even built a racetrack and raced an Alpha Romeo that used Refluopetrolio. This was Rossi’s attempt to show people that it would be a replacement for fossil fuels in transportation.

Ever the entrepreneur, when Rossi discovered that silver and gold were obtained through the refining process, he began a jewelry business. That proved to be a mistake, because the government saw that as a form of tax evasion.

[6]  Nikolova, Vessela (2014). E-Cat “The New Fire”