Biofuel Darling Magnegas Tumbles Despite Heavily Anticipated Announcement at Biomass Conference

Michael Teague |

Biofuel systems designer Magnegas ($MGNA) finished last week’s trading on huge gains with shares up nearly 62 percent by Friday’s close.

Since 2007, the Florida-based firm has been perfecting a process by which liquid waste products can be transformed into fuel for a number of end-uses. Last week’s enormous increase in trading volume for the stock was the result of two catalysts. First, the company promised to unveil new and revolutionary technology at the Biomass Conference & Expo in Orlando (that opened on Monday), and second, there was Friday’s announcement that its fuel would be used in several large-scale demolition projects on the East coast of the US.

The second announcement served to aggravate the bullishness that had already gathered around the stock, and by the close of Friday’s trading session shares for Magnegas made a single-day gain of 60 percent. But on Monday, a corrective movement could be seen throughout the day, with the company’s stock off at one point by as much as 20 percent, before losses were pared back to just over 10 percent, doing so on nearly 10 times average volume.

Meanwhile, Monday CEO Ermanno Santilli opened the biofuel industry conference as promised with the introduction of its new product, a mobile liquid biomass solution that will be known by the name of MagneGas Mobile Unit.

According to the company, the mobile hydrogen-based fuel converter has produced positive results for one client in Kazakhstan, and it hopes to have an agricultural pilot program set up in the US in the near future.

Santelli also told some 1,500 attendees of the conference that the company was “preparing to solicit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval of the technology that we believe will prove we can turn Class B sludge into Class A material to reduce disposal costs and in some cases render it suitable for fertilization and/or irrigation. The company believes the technology could significantly impact the way liquid waste is dealt with in sectors as far ranging as livestock, feed, waste energy/water and several other critical areas and we are excited to see the outcome of our test results."

Indeed, the EPA’s approval seems to be Magnegas’s main hurdle for the time being. Aside from Central Asia, the product has also been tested since 2010 at a sewage treatment in Italy, which would seem to add credibility to Santilli’s claims that the technology is “performing as expected” in overseas tests.

This is perhaps why the biofuel producer’s shares corrected so heavily during Monday’s session despite the unveiling of Magnegas Mobile earlier in the day, but it also points to the catalyst that investors should really be watching out for. If and when the EPA does grant the company approval to use the toxic waste products it claims to have the ability to convert to useable fuel, there’s no telling how much upside might be on offer.

In any event, Magnegas has nearly quadrupled its market cap in 2014 alone, and shares after Monday’s dip are  trading just shy of 52-week highs at $2.15 per a piece.

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