Total Resource Utilization (TRU) Habitat

Tami Relph | NAVFAC EXWC



The objective of this project is to demonstrate two unique technologies that when combined, can address liquid and solid waste streams at Forward Operating Bases (FOB), eliminating the need for hazardous burn pits and inefficient incinerators, greatly reducing the requirements for water and wastewater transportation, improving self-sustainability, decreasing costs, and reducing security risks.

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Technology Description

The Total Resource Utilization (TRU) Habitat integrates two appliances to reduce liquid and solid waste streams at FOBs, while providing thermal energy and water: Micro Auto-Gasification System (MAGS) and Wastewater Electrochemical Treatment Technology (WETT). MAGS is an energy appliance fueled by waste. It is a patented technology that thermally breaks down hydrocarbons into solid carbon and synthesis gas and uses the synthesis gas to fuel the process. All combustible waste is converted into thermal energy (120 kW), biochar (<5%), and water. The suite of WETT technologies was designed to treat a variety of wastewater streams, including greywater (WETT-G) and sewage/black water (WETT-S). These systems use advanced electrochemistry through electrocoagulation and electro-oxidation to treat wastewater streams to produce reusable water without the use of filters, membranes, biological treatment or chemical addition. The reject stream produced is approximately 5% of the influent wastewater volume treated. This stream will be sent to the MAGS unit for gasification, after it is dewatered to the required solid content. WETT recovers up to 60% of the water to be used on site. The treated effluent can be used for non-potable activities, such as toilet flushing, laundry, cleaning, dust suppression, irrigation, and even shower water for military contingency operations.

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Successful demonstration of the TRU Habitat system will provide the Department of Defense with a safe and sustainable method for reducing solid and liquid waste streams at FOBs. Integrated solid and liquid waste treatment technology with the reuse of water and thermal energy may provide very high returns, in some cases under one year, on investment due to the very high cost of energy and fresh water at the tactical edge. The Force Protection (FP) benefits are incalculable, as this approach reduces the convoys delivering fuel and water to the FOB and hauling waste products from the FOB. The TRU system is applicable to combat, contingency, humanitarian and training missions, as well as the ill-defined distinction between fixed and temporary facilities on training ranges. The ON/OFF nature of the technology, enabled by absence of chemical reactants or biological processes, allows for quick start up immediate shut down and makes it well suited to programs such as the USAF Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resource, US Army Force Provider, USN/USMC Maritime Prepositioning Force. 

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Points of Contact

Principal Investigator

Ms. Tami Relph


Phone: 805-982-5548