Video: US Navy’s Promising Solid Waste Disposal Technique

Taking a big step towards their moral responsibility for the planet, US marines recently introduced a way to recycle and dispose wastes at sea. MAGS or the Micro Auto Gasification System has been built in collaboration with Office of Naval research by Terragon Environmental Technologies Inc., Montreal.

The Micro Auto Gasification System is a solid waste disposal system which aims at providing ability to individual navy units to recycle their own waste. The idea of MAGS is to convert solid naval waste into inert carbon containing material including gases and ash. The solid waste is heated up to 750⁰ C, at which temperature the carbon content of waste is considerably reduced.

This checks carbon dioxide formation, promoting production of less harmful inert gases. It can reduce materials like paper, cardboard, wood, plastic, chemicals, food materials, cloth, biological waste and even oil and grease like substances. The glass and metal content of the solid waste will remain unchanged, though not useless.

These materials can be easily sanitized to be used for other. The gas is released and the ashes produced are not supposed to cause any harm to nature. However, the credibility of this claim is a little ambiguous considering the high levels of toxins that might originally be present in solid waste.

Despite of that, MAGS seems a novel technology to answer the seemingly gigantic question of navy waste disposal. It has capacity to reduce 40 kg of typical solid waste by more than 95 % in about two hours. At present, it is absolutely capable of handling waste production from a Marine unit of 1000 members, under normal operation conditions.

The technology looks promising. Currently, a unit of MAGS is being tested at US Marine Corps Forces Pacific, at Camp Smith on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu for long term operational reliability, weight reduction and continuous feed operation to increase efficiency.

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