factory

Andrea Rossi - Invention, Entrepreneurship and Publication

Before Andrea ever started attending classes at the University of Milan, he worked in his father’s factory, La Metallotecnica. His focus was the recovery of energy lost during the incineration process, and with smoke purification.  From his late teens on, Andrea was concerned with saving energy and cleaning the environment. His first invention was a filter that would clean the exhaust from the smokestacks of industrial incinerators. Before he was 20, he had formed a branch company to his father’s, which he named DRAGON. This reference was due to the extremely high temperatures reached inside the incinerators.

Once again, his willingness to take on exhausting, lonely challenges isolated him, yet led to amazing results. In 1970, he discontinued sports so that he could enroll in the University, and work. He worked all day at DRAGON and La Metallotecnica while he studied and attended lectures at night. 

By the time he was 22, he had a patent for his flue gas filters. He graduated from the University in 1973 with a patent, a Masters Degree in Philosophy, and a perfect score of 110/110 on his dissertation. He graduated with honors. He also had formed yet another company which he named Petroldragon.

At age 27, Rossi got a patent on his intellectual property for his filter cleaner. This device was first patented for DRAGON, but Bayer Leverkusen later applied for the intellectual rights. Rossi won that legal battle – a significant victory for a young man.  

A year later, in 1978, he published a book called The Incineration Of Waste And Smoke Purification. Reflecting his desire and commitment to reduce waste, this book described his techniques used at DRAGON. Perhaps even more importantly, it outlined his theories and how he reached his conclusions. The book is still used as a textbook at the Polytechnic Institute of Milan.

That same year, Luigi Baciualli published a biography about Andrea Rossi. Titled Petrolio Dai Rifiuti, or Oil from Garbage, it told of the young man’s achievements in using biomass for energy.