Marines test new energy-efficient weapon in the war on trash

Nov 15, 2011
The Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS) is a solid waste disposal system that enables individual units to efficiently manage their own solid waste stream in an environmentally friendly manner. This system was developed under the Office of Naval Research’s Environmental Quality Discovery and Invention program. Credit: US Navy photo by Dee Finning

In partnership with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Marines at Camp Smith, Hawaii, 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.

Called the Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS), the unit is currently undergoing evaluation by U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific (MARFORPAC) as a possible solution to help Marines win their daily battle against the increasing at remote forward operating bases (FOB).

Lt. Col. Mike Jernigan, a Marine combat engineer who recently commanded a logistics battalion in Afghanistan, said in the field is a problem.

"Right now, there are really only two solutions: burn it or bury it," Jernigan said. "Any potential solution must reduce the security and concerns of trash disposal, and help the environment … that's a good thing for the Marine Corps."

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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 Marine Corps' evaluation team.

Developed under the Environmental Quality, Discovery and Invention program at ONR and in collaboration with the Canadian Department of Defence, MAGS was designed to meet the need for a compact, solid-waste disposal system for both ships and shore facilities.

"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 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," Murakami said. "We are talking about disposing our waste in a different manner, rather than just sending it to the landfill."

Testing of MAGS will continue through March. Next summer, phase three of the evaluation will address the system's expeditionary aspect at the Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii.

Explore further: Pilot sites in energy from coffee waste show good results

Provided by Office of Naval Research

5 /5 (6 votes)

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Nerdyguy
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2011
""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."

This is good for the military, good for our allies in FOBs, and hopefully transferable to the private sector.
210
3 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2011
Semper Fi - baby! (Hoo-ahh!)
"I love the Corp. A day in the Corp is like a day on the Farm. Every formation a parade, every meal a banquet. I love the Corp" -Sarge, from 'Aliens'

word-
bredmond
4 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2011
hey great. put that with this and i am ready to live off the grid:
http://www.physor...ity.html
dschlink
5 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2011
Hawaii is certainly a great place to test this technology, as they currently ship much of their waste to CONUS for burial.
Jeddy_Mctedder
2.2 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2011
basic pyrolysis.... old news.

good news ? maybe the marines will bust up the local organized crime rings controlling all municipal sanitation departments, and many øandfills, around the us
CapitalismPrevails
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 16, 2011
Semper Fi - baby! (Hoo-ahh!)
I hate to nitpick but it's actually Ooh-rah and not
Hoo-ahh. Hoo-ahh is the Army's battle cry.

-Former Marine
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (2) Nov 16, 2011
Semper Fi - baby! (Hoo-ahh!)
I hate to nitpick but it's actually Ooh-rah and not
Hoo-ahh. Hoo-ahh is the Army's battle cry.

-Former Marine


Dang, I thought it was Hoo-Rah????
210
1 / 5 (2) Nov 17, 2011
Semper Fi - baby! (Hoo-ahh!)
I hate to nitpick but it's actually Ooh-rah and not
Hoo-ahh. Hoo-ahh is the Army's battle cry.

-Former Marine

Yessss, butttt...I LIKE the Army's more...and do not subscribe to any notion or concept of intra-inter service rivalry. When the stinky stuff hits the fan, we live and die as ONE!
(Hoo -ahh!) 29 Palms, then, a tour on the USS Blue Ridge, another on The Tripoli, and then Okinawa, finally, my beloved Battalion Landing Team 15 BABY!
Hoo-ahh!-to-ya-muthas