05 December 2011
Micro Auto Gasification System Seeing Success in Camp Smith Evaluation
MAGS, the world’s most compact and environmentally friendly solid waste treatment appliance is being evaluated by the United States Marine Corps (USMC) at Camp H.M. Smith in Hawaii. Power Ten, Inc., in partnership with Terragon Environmental Technologies Inc., and the USMC have installed and prepared this new technology that makes it practical to eliminate waste locally and autonomously.
The Marine Corps has been observing the effectiveness of Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS) and after several successful demonstrations at Camp Smith, they are looking to expand the demonstrations to evaluate performance under more austere conditions such as a Forward Operating Base (FOB).
MAGS, designed by Terragon Environmental Technologies and brought to the USMC by Power Ten, Inc. with Power Ten, Inc. serving as the exclusive channel to the DoD and DHS for Terragon products. MAGS has proven to be successful at converting waste to biochar and energy.
Results have shown that MAGS successfully reduced the volume of waste by 99% and the weight by 96%, while generating 178,642 BTU of thermal energy during gasification. The 178,642 BTU’s of energy is the equivalent of 52.4 kWh of electricity assuming no loss. These were achieved while converting Type 0 Waste. Type 0 waste is a mixture of highly combustible waste such as paper, cardboard, wood and combustible floor sweepings. The mixture contains up to 10% by weight of plastic bags, coated paper, laminated paper, treated corrugated cardboard, oily rags and plastic or rubber scraps.
These results indicate that MAGS with 178,642 BTUs could potentially raise the temperature of 370 gallons of 82° F water to the desired 140° F temperature of water in an average household water heater, which could heat a 4,500 square foot poorly insulated room.
MAGS is both environmentally friendly and fuel efficient. A controlled decomposition process, which thermally converts energy from biomass is the key to MAGS’ effectiveness. “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 USMC’s evaluation team.
The USMC is seeing the usefulness of MAGS for use at FOBs where there are currently challenges with the disposal of waste. Current methods of waste management at small remote bases are inefficient, unhealthy, costly and environmentally unfriendly.
Negative impacts of current waste disposal methods include:
- Health and Hygiene: burn pit smoke and pests/disease vectors
- Force Protection: local sourced manpower and intelligence gathering
- Logistics: burdens for collecting and transporting waste
MAGS, serving as a properly designed and built one-stop waste disposal facility, is a key component of a effective program that helps Marines focus on accomplishing their critical mission outside the wire. MAGS will ensure security for U.S. troops by removing the need for trash disposal contracts in hostile environments, and eliminating the need to burn trash which is harmful to the soldier’s health, and puts them at risk by exposing their location with smoke plumes.
The energy-efficient and clean-burning properties of MAGS make it attractive to expeditionary units. It has a low carbon footprint, and emissions are not visible, which is a tactical plus. Waste heat can also be used for practical purposes, such as heating living quarters or water.
“What we are doing for FOBs can be applied to schools, hospitals or an office building,” Donn Murakami said. “We are talking about disposing our waste in a different manner, rather than just sending it to the landfill.”
Demonstration of MAGS will continue through September 2012. Next summer, phase three will address the system’s expeditionary aspect at the Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii.