Firm markets waste-to-ash technology to Hawaii hotels

(Pacific Business News) A Canadian technology company is coming to Hawaii next week to market a device to hotels that cooks waste into ash and uses its byproduct for energy and heating water.

Montreal-based Terragon Technologies’ Micro Auto Gasification System already is being tested by the U.S. Marines at Camp Smith. Officials at Outrigger Hotels and Resorts say they have seen the machine in action but have not yet been contacted by Terragon about its commercial applications. Terragon President Peter Tsantrizos and Vice President of Business Development Theodora Alexakis reportedly are setting up meetings with Hawaii hotel officials.

The system will sell for “less than $300,000” per unit, Alexakis said.

The Marines began looking at the MAGS in June as a way to dispose of waste that typically is burned or buried at bases in Afghanistan, Iraq and other remote locations, said Donn Murakami, Office of Naval Research adviser to the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific. He said the system at Camp Smith is the only MAGS operating in the United States and Marines are being trained to operate it.

The system also is being tested for its waste-disposal abilities at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello in Montebello, Canada. And there are plans to test its capabilities for both waste disposal and producing hot water for hotel rooms at a Club Med in the Bahamas, Alexakis said.

Terragon officials said they don’t see a need for further testing in Hawaii.

“Hotels are motivated to treat their own waste, not only due to costs but because of other factors,” Alexakis said. “[Hawaii] is a market that is very attractive.”

Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, thinks hotels could be interested in something like MAGS.

“One of the major objectives of every hotel is to be more sustainable and reduce energy costs,” he said. “It sounds like something that would move us in the direction of being more green.”

According to Terragon’s Web site, the device can safely dispose of plastic, paper, wood, chemicals, food, cloth, oils, grease and other waste. The company claims that a MAGS unit can treat the waste generated by 500 people a day.

“It is unique,” Alexakis said. “The technology is different than the basic chemistry used in other systems. It has been tested, so we are hoping to start selling it this year.”

A MAGS unit could save hotels the cost of hauling waste and help eliminate any stench caused by trash piling up, she said.

The gas produced by MAGS also is sufficient to enable the device to power itself after it uses diesel fuel to get started, Alexakis said.

MAGS basically superheats the waste at 550 degrees Celsius and turns it into ash, which Terragon calls char, that can be used for planting. It also produces hot water that could be used in a hotel’s boiler. It does not generate steam or other visible emissions.

MAGS shrinks waste by 95 percent when it cooks it into ash, Murakami said.

“It’s cleaner than an incinerator,” he said. “This puts out a lot of heat that we think we can use to heat [buildings]. We’ve had interest [in MAGS] from other services as well.”

MAGS also could have applications for ships — it is currently being used on two Canadian Naval vessels to dispose of waste, Murakami said.

About Terragon

Terragon develops and commercializes practical appliances which enable habitats and enterprises to eliminate their wastes and recover resources. Terragon researches and engineers highly innovative waste treatment systems which anyone can operate safely, economically and without special training. Terragon also offers its knowhow and expertise in the thermal treatment of waste to companies around the world.

Contacts:

Terragon Environmental Technologies Inc.

Website: www.terragon.net

Source: Terragon Environmental Technologies Inc.