In December 1996, a penniless Andrea Rossi emigrated to the U.S.A., and was employed in a company specialized in systems that derive energy from biomass, the Bio Development Corporation, of Bedford, NH.
After these events, everything was sealed and distrained: quite simply, banks not only refused to grant any form of further credit to Rossi’s companies, but also demanded the immediate repayment of all credit previously granted – credit that had funded research, experiments, manufacture of machinery and equipment. It’s easy to see how, given the exponential growth of operations, there had been need for funds to finance a significant expansion.
Quite abruptly, the materials used by Petroldragon for the production of fuel oil from secondary materials were declared by Italian law to be waste matter; as a consequence, Petroldragon’s operations, which had no permits or licenses for waste treatment, came to be considered illegal activities; the same applied to Petroldragon’s final products, previously considered fuel oil, and now labeled as waste. As a consequence, Omar refinery’s supply of raw material was cut off; and, considering that Omar also lacked the authorization to process waste, that company was considered outlawed as well.
At the time of the unexpected “legislative about-face” of the Italian Government, by which an activity, previously regulated and assessed for tax revenue by the Government, was suddenly declared illegal, a strange coincidence came about: the Omar and Petroldragon plants found themselves facing a powerful political and social alliance which began to single out Andrea Rossi as an environmental polluter and income tax evader.
Up to 1987, waste matter treated by Petroldragon for the production of fuel oil was considered secondary material, i.e. either waste matter derived from the processing of raw materials, or material resulting from the recovery and recycling of waste; up to this time, all products derived from such matter had been exempt from waste disposal authorizations.
Petroldragon’s excellent results in the production of crude oil, together with Omar’s success in refining a market-ready product, brought Andrea Rossi to envision producing a commercial fuel similar to that of motor vehicles, the uncontested prime mover of the Italian economy’s energy sources.
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To ensure a continuous supply of essential raw material (waste), Petroldragon set up a complex network, and signed contracts with major Italian companies normally producing large amounts of those kinds of waste best suited, by type and quality, to the transformation processes designed by Andrea Rossi.
From the very start, Rossi’s invention allowed the transformation of organic waste into oil, which was subsequently sold to companies specialized in refining, in order to make commonly used products such as fuel oils and solvents. Thus, refineries were Petroldragon’s typical client.