Marines at Camp Smith, Hawaii together with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) are testing a high-tech trash disposal system that can reduce a standard 50-gallon bag of waste to a half-pint jar of harmless ash.
Marines In their daily battle against the increasing trash at remote forward operating bases (FOB) may have a new ally called MAGS (Micro Auto Gasification System).
The unit is the world’s most compact and environmentally friendly solid-waste treatment appliance. In a single hour, MAGS can converts up to 40 kg of as-received waste. The technology has been developed by Terragon with the support of the US Navy and Canada’s Department of Defense for use in naval vessels and isolated communities.
"The system essentially bakes the trash and recovers a high portion of combustible gas byproduct, which is used to fuel the process," said Donn Murakami, the MARFORPAC science adviser who leads the Marine Corps' evaluation team.
Waste undergoes a controlled thermal treatment process at a temperature of 750°C. Applied technology helps to destroy all organic material: plastic, paper, cardboard, wood, chemicals, food, cloth, oils and grease, biological material, animal waste, agricultural waste, sludge in the waste, converting it to a fuel gas called syngas.
"Decades ago, the idea of harvesting energy from trash was just a side show in the environmental movement," said Steve McElvany, the MAGS program officer at ONR. "Now, the technology is mature enough to where the Department of the Navy is seriously evaluating its practical and tactical benefits.
The MAGS weapon has a low carbon footprint, a significant portion of the carbon from waste is converted in bio-char, a carbonaceous material that can be safely landfilled or used as a soil additive. Figuratively presented: reduction up to 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent for every ton of waste treated.
"What we are doing for FOBs can be applied to schools, hospitals or an office building," Murakami said. "We are talking about disposing our waste in a different manner, rather than just sending it to the landfill."
Information provided by Tarragon says that in one day, a MAGS unit can treat the waste typically generated by a community of up to 500 persons.
MAGS testing will last until March.
U.S. Marines denounced the War on Trash