AB&I Foundry in Oakland, CA, has adopted an alternative, hydrogen-based welding gas for material repairs and fabrication projects. MagneGas fuel is produced by the patented MagneGas process, which converts liquid waste into a hydrogen-based fuel.

Tampa-based MagneGas Corp. developed and patented its Plasma Arc Flow process, and commercialized it in 2010. The system gasifies liquid waste from industrial, municipal, agricultural, and military sources into a “clean burning” hydrogen fuel that is applicable to commercial or process applications, such as welding or cutting, process gas, metal working, cooking, heating, powering bi-fuel automobiles, and more.

AB&I Foundry produces cast iron soil pipe and fittings for drain, waste and vent (DWV) plumbing systems. It is an operating unit of McWane Inc., a portfolio of foundries and fabricating operations that manufacture pipe, valve, hydrant, and plumbing products, and according to MagneGas there are plans for that business’s other locations to adopt the hydrogen fuel, too. 

MagneGas refining units are licensed to various manufacturers and waste-processors, and the MagneGas fuel it produces is available through various industrial gas distributors.

In 2014, the developer introduced a second formulation, MagneGas2, described as “a rich mix of gases” that achieve a lower flow rate and a flame that behaves like standard cutting fuels (e.g., acetylene), which reduces the need for retraining.

The developer claimed MagneGas2 cuts faster than acetylene with significantly less oxygen consumption. Independent comparisons showed that the gas cut 38% faster than acetylene on 2-in.-thick carbon steel, and with a 34% reduction in oxygen consumption. Even better results were claimed in comparison to propane, though those figures were not released.

AB&I Foundry indicated it selected MagneGas2 for safety and enhanced factors. The fuel is being produced under license by Placer Power LLC and supplied by TriCo Welding Supplies Inc., both in California.

"We have an internal pollution control contest at AB&I, and I'm confident MagneGas will help me to be a contender that can win due to its safety features, reduced emissions and increased efficiency," stated Mike Olvera, environmental manager at the ductile iron pipe producer.