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As a veteran owned business, Petrogen takes great pleasure in manufacturing, assembling and testing its tools in the USA.

Petrogen manufactures cutting torch systems which use everyday liquid fuels like gasoline, diesel, and kerosene. These liquid fuels, in conjunction with the wide variety of Petrogen system packages, provide operators with the opportunity to reduce operational safety hazards, take advantage of greater performance capabilities, and reduce operational costs.

Petrogen cutting torch packages are comprised of both specifically engineered components for liquid fuels and components which you would find with senior oxyfuel systems (eg. oxygen hose, oxygen regulator), both of which are made in the United States. Each system package is different, with some packages offering a more robust option than others, and some which are designed more for specific cutting operations. Though all packages provide the essentials for liquid fuel cutting.

Petrogen cutting torches have been around since 1973 and have become the prefered cutting torch technology for entities such as the Defense Logistics Agency, FEMA, and the US Department of Energy, as well as fire/rescue and a variety of commercial enterprises.


Velocity + Duration + Oxidation + Temperature (V.D.O.T.), formula to understanding cutting torches and what makes them do what they do best.


The speed of the flame as it leaves the tip is a function of the expansion of liquid fuel as it evaporates into a gas inside the torch tip, not the regulator pressure. This massive expansion creates a velocity up to 10 times greater than torches that use compressed gases.


Liquid fuels such as gasoline and diesel produce significant BTUs for significantly longer than compressed gases, allowing operators more flexibility and greater coupling distances. The amount of time BTU's are released by the primary and secondary flame defines the distance the preheat flame remains effective in preheating the steel.


When cutting steel, it is the steel itself which acts as the primary fuel source. The preheat flame is simply the catalyst to initiate combustion. A higher level of oxidation means more of the steel is converted into BTUs. Petrogen systems oxidize 99.9% of the steel, unlocking more energy to sustain difficult cuts. Acetylene oxidizes 70% of the steel leaving 30% of the available energy as a puddle of molten steel.


The flame temperature of the Petrogen Liquid Fuel Torch ranges from 5200 to 6400 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperature allows operators to maintain ignition on steel that is painted, rusty and wet with greater ease than torches that use compressed gases.


Each individual principle of VDOT holds its own advantages, but it is the combination of these factors that make the performance of the Petrogen liquid fuel torch more powerful than any other oxy-fuel cutting system.

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Safety benifits of the Petrogen system

Petrogen uses liquid fuels such as gasoline and diesel for the same reason we use them in our automobiles; because they are safe, stable, always available and affordable.

Liquid fuel travel through the Petrogen system A large part of why we use liquid fuels in our vehicles is because the fuel itself is very stable. The combustion of the liquid fuel is not actually possible without oxygen present. This is how Petrogen’s “tank to tip” fuel distribution eliminates fuel line flashback. The liquid fuel stays a liquid all the way from the liquid fuel tank to the tip of the torch, where the fuel and oxygen then meet and mix to make an ignitable vapor. This way of fuel distribution also makes fuel leaks easy to detect.

Once lit, the liquid fuel flame continues to protect the system in various ways. As the liquid fuel evaporates inside the Petrogen tip, it creates a refrigerant effect. The higher the tip size, the cooler it runs. This is one reason why Petrogen tips are known to last for a year plus with regular use. The liquid fuel flame also produces a higher oxidation rate compared to other oxy-fuel systems, nearly 100% oxidization. With a higher oxidation rate, more material is being consumed, which produces lighter, cooler and less harmful sparks. There is also a longer release of BTUs in the liquid fuel flame. This not only contributes to the Petrogen systems advanced cutting capabilities, but it also allows operators to increase their coupling distance well beyond the standard quarter inch to both distance the torch and themselves from potentially damaging heat and/or debris.

Petrogen's Liquid Fuel Tank vs Aceylene BottleAs for the equipment, Petrogen systems have a variety of safety components which, in conjunction with the liquid fuel being used, help to keep operator and operations safe from unforeseen hazards. The ASME code liquid fuel tank specifically has two main safety components. One is a “Fast Flow Check Valve” which will activate when there has been a spike in fuel line pressure (i.e. dry or severed fuel line), and the second is the Relief valve located in the Filler Cap. The valve is designed to release any pressure that exceeds the valve’s capacity, preventing the fuel tank from becoming a hazard should it get caught in a fire.

In addition to Petrogen's liquid fuel tank safety components, the smaller size of the tank also reduces the potential for injury. The most common cause of injury, when dealing with compressed gasses is moving the cylinders. Petrogen's biggest fuel tank, a 2.5 gallon vessel, weighs 20 lbs and is easily picked up by one hand. An equivalent 250 cubic foot acetylene cylinder weighs over 118 lbs and has to be transported by either a dolly or very delicately by hand.


Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

The Petrogen System has been UL certified since 1984.

US Department of Energy (DOE)

Petrogen has been deemed suitable for use inside nuclear reactor facilities for maintenance and decommissioning.

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

The Petrogen Cutting Torch technology has been deemed suitable for use in all mining operation, including underground coal mines by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Petrogen has been chosen as the prime technology for structural collapse and heavy vehicle extrication and is currently in service with all 28 FEMA teams.

City and State Fire Rescue Services

Petrogen has been chosen as the cutting tool of choice for every major city in America, the UK, Japan, Australia and many more. Petrogen equipment currently serves in over 3500 cities.

U.S. Navy*

Petrogen has been approved for use on U.S. Navy vessels.

*No. 974 FLAMMABLE LIQUID 20 April 1987
Certificated for use as an article of stores on board vessels. This certification only covers hazards in the use of this product. The efficiency of this product is not passed upon.

U.S. Coast Guard

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The Power Liquid Fuels Offer

The same liquid fuel attributes that make the Petrogen system safe are ones that also cater to its increased performance over other oxy-fuel systems.

With liquid fuel's higher oxidation rate, cuts are made quicker by not having to melt through material. Where other oxy-fuel systems may only oxidize the material as low as 70% and have to melt through the rest, using liquid fuel and cryogenic (99.99% pure) oxygen leads to 99.99% of the steel being consumed.

This benefits operations in more ways than just faster cuts. With the steel almost completely being consumed, there is no slag build up or reconnecting material, so cuts can be made in one pass. Also, without slag build up, grinding a cut for re-welding is no longer necessary.

Additionally, the higher oxidation rate also allows Petrogen systems to use Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen (93-95% pure). Though, operators can expect as much as a 35% drop in performance (for every 1% of oxygen purity reduced, the cutting speed/performance will be reduced by 3-5%), the Petrogen system is the only oxy-fuel cutting torch that can use an oxygen purity below that of cryogenic.

Liquid fuel’s longer release of BTU’s is another large contributing factor to the cutting capabilities of the Petrogen system. The heavy vapors of liquid fuel’s push combustion all the way down the length of the flame. This longer duration of combustion pushes further into the steel and continues to heat down the length of the steel. The BTUs released by the burning steel also add to the flame’s heat and penetration.

This is what allows the Petrogen system to make stacked/layered cuts, air gap cuts, and deep hole punches. It is also the reason why coupling distance with the Petrogen system is so flexible, and why preheating through dirt and paint happens much quicker.

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Savings with Petrogen Systems

Petrogen fuel costs a fraction of what other torch fuels cost.

The use of liquid fuels with the Petrogen system plays another large role in savings. Switching to Petrogen from another oxy-fuel system has multiple financial perks. One is conserving fuel charges. Operators with Petrogen can anticipate eight plus, continuous hours of preheating with two gallons of liquid fuel. A cost of about $8.00. Compared to acetylene, which requires a 250 cubic foot cylinder for the same amount of preheat time and will cost around $230.00. With this drastic decrease in fuel cost, saving begins immediately. As for less expensive oxy-fuels, like propane, fuel cost savings are still there, but where switching becomes profitable is in the lower oxygen consumption rate. There is a 30% savings in oxygen consumption with Petrogen compared to propane.

Another saving benefit is the availability of liquid fuel. In many instances, users will have a liquid fuel already on site, and if not, it is just a matter of locating the local gas station for a fuel of choice (Examples: any grade gasoline, white gas, camping fuel, or after-market stabilized. With the the Multi-Fuel Adapter and High Heat Tips diesel, biodiesel, or kerosene may then be utilized). The savings in liquid fuel’s availability comes into play when operators are pressed for time and need fuel instantly. Having fuel readily available reduces both delays in operations and also eliminates delivery fees/charges.


Gasoline $0.007 $0.09 $0.10
Propylene $0.03 $0.13 $0.16
Propane $0.009 $0.17 $0.18
Acetylene $0.09 $0.10 $0.19


Gasoline $0.009 $0.12 $0.13
Propane $0.01 $0.18 $0.19
Propylene $0.04 $0.17 $0.21
Acetylene $0.12 $0.18 $0.30

The above calculations are based on:

  • Gasoline - $4.00 per gallon
  • Propylene - $275 per 100 lbs bottle
  • Propane - $51.92 per 100 lbs bottle
  • Acetylene - $115 per 125 cu ft.
  • Oxygen - $35 per 330 cu ft. bottle

Contact us with your fuel and oxygen costs. We would be happy to crunch the numbers for you.

Also contributing to more efficient cost savings and operations are the performance and safety benefits of the Petrogen system. Operators are supported with quicker cutting capabilities, the ability to make multiple cuts at once and cuts through air gas, and no longer having to grind cuts for welding allows them the opportunity to take their productivity to a higher level. Operators are also put into a safer work environment, with a hot cutting system that will not just protect them from unforeseen hazardous situations but will also help them protect the system from creating premature consumables.


0 15 60 .30
1 20 115 .30
2 30 180 .40
3 40 275 .48
4 50 370 .55
5 60 490 .60
6 70 620 .62
7 90 800 .64
8 120-200 1400 .67
L 100 95 1.47

Petrogen systems are also compatible with Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) generated oxygen. PSA generators produce "medical" grade oxygen of 90% purity. Though there is a 4-5% reduction in speed/performance of every 1% of oxygen purity reduced, this reduced quality is too low for traditional oxy-fuel torches, which require 99% purity in order to function.

Petrogen also goes further by providing a 25-year warranty on its craftsmanship and materials and making available multiple training courses to ensure users understanding of the system and to help prolong the life of the system.

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The Data to Petrogen Technology

Petrogen has a long and proud history of qualifications, innovation, and advanced performance. Following are links to full reports issued by various agencies and customers.

- Department of Energy Report Innovative Technology Summary Reports

"Innovative Technology Summary Reports are designed to provide potential users with the information they need to quickly determine if a technology would apply to a particular environmental management problem. They are also designed for readers who may recommend that a technology be considered by prospective users."

- Mine Safety and Health Administration

"After reviewing the information and consulting with appropriate personnel in the Mine Safety Administration (MSHA), MSHA has concluded that, your system, subject to certain conditions set forth below, may be used in underground mines."

- Department of Energy

"The Department of Energy established the Large Scale Technology Demonstration Project (LSTD) in order to investigate new technologies to help nuclear decontamination and decommissioning work to proceed with increased safety, speed, and economy. One of the selected technologies was the oxy-gasoline cutting torch, which was demonstrated at Fernald in October 1996."

- Federal Energy Technology Center Success Story

"Petrogen International has developed the oxy-gasoline cutting torch under the Federal Energy Technology Center’s (FETC’s) Deactivation and Decommissioning Focus Area. One of several technologies being developed under the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Program for improved decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) technologies, the system consists of a 2.5-gallon fuel tank with automatic flow shutoff valve, a gasoline supply hose, and a cutting torch, and is supplied with pressurized oxygen."

- Petrogen Advantages

"Many of the advantages that are gained by using Petrogen over other oxy-fuel systems are due to the fact that the system uses liquid fuel to produce the preheat flame. Though, many misconceptions are applied to liquid fuels (many coming from chase scenes from early 80’s movies), it is actually the fuel that make the Petrogen system the safest hot cutting oxy-fuel system in the field."

- Petrogen FAQ's

"A: It is actually the liquid fuels that account for the majority of the Petrogen systems safety. Because of them: fuel line flashback is eliminated, sparks are less harmful, leaks are detectable, and system transport is much safer."

- Petrogen vs Acetylene

"Cutting with Petrogen will produce carbon dioxide and steam. Though it will not produce carbon monoxide. The metal contaminants produced are also oxidized more completely, producing much less toxic fumes."

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