US Navy Declares War on Trash

The US Navy is developing a way to reduce the amount of trash that it produces. The Office of Naval Research, along with the Canadian Department of Defense, collaborated with Terragon Environmental Technologies Inc. of Montreal, Canada, to develop a Micro Auto Gasification System, or MAGS for short.

The main purpose of MAGS is to reduce garbage, which it does using a controlled pyrolysis process, a fancy way of saying that the garbage is incinerated into nothing.

The incineration is done under anaerobic conditions at high temperatures in a steel drum and converts all of the organic waste into an inert ash that can be safely landfilled. Using this system, around 40 kg of waste can be reduced to 2 kg or less in just 2 hours. Because most of the carbon in the organic waste is converted to the ash, not a lot of carbon dioxide is formed, making it pretty environmentally friendly.

The process also produces a synthetic gas can be used as a fuel. This fuel can be used to run MAGS, making the whole system energy efficient. The heat it produces can also be diverted to heat buildings or water.

The navy is currently testing the technology and hopes to eventually use it to power ships and shore facilities.

I only have one question: Where's all the rest of that matter going? It has to go somewhere, right?

[Office of Naval Research via Gizmodo]

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