08 December 2011
50 Gallon Waste Gasifier Tested by U.S. Marines
U.S. Marines based at Camp Smith, Hawaii are testing a small scale waste gasification system developed by Terragon Environmental Technologies.
The tests are being conducted in partnership with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and are aimed at reducing a standard 50 gallon (190 litre) bag of waste to a half pint (275 ml) jar of harmless ash.
Dubbed the Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS), Terragon said that the unit is currently undergoing evaluation by U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific (MARFORPAC) as a possible solution to increasing waste volumes at remote Forward Operating Bases (FOB).
Lt. Col. Mike Jernigan, a Marine combat engineer who recently commanded a logistics battalion in Afghanistan, explained that waste disposal in the field is a problem.
“Right now, there are really only two solutions: burn it or bury it,” Jernigan says. “Any potential solution must reduce the security and logistics concerns of trash disposal, and help the environment? that’s a good thing for the Marine Corps.”
According to Terragon the key to MAGS effectiveness is its utilisation of a controlled decomposition process, which thermally converts energy from biomass.
“The system essentially bakes the trash and recovers a high portion of combustible gas byproduct, which is used to fuel the process,” explained Donn Murakami, the MARFORPAC science adviser and leader of the Marine Corps’ evaluation team.
Developed under the Environmental Quality, Discovery and Invention program at ONR and in collaboration with the Canadian Department of Defence, Terragon said that the system was designed to meet the need for a compact, solid waste disposal system for both ships and shore facilities.
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.
The company also said that the waste heat generated by the process can be used for practical purposes, such as heating living quarters or water and that and the emissions are not visible, which is a tactical plus.
“What we are doing for FOBs can be applied to schools, hospitals or an office building,” Murakami added.
Testing of MAGS will continue through March, and phase three of the evaluation will address the system’s expeditionary aspect at the Pohakuloa Training Area in Hawaii next summer.
The Department of the Navy has a goal of producing 50% of its installed onshore energy requirements from alternative sources by 2020.
Source: Waste Management World