Month: August 2017

Meridian SF6 reduction project

Map of location of Meridian carbon offset projects in US and Canada

Meridian SF6 reduction project

Auto parts manufacturer pioneers new process and reduces GHGs

Meridian Magnesium Products makes auto parts from magnesium alloys. Stronger and lighter than traditional materials such as steel, magnesium alloys allow companies to build lighter, more fuel efficient cars. Meridian is one of the largest producers of magnesium components and supplies most of the large auto manufacturers.

Using carbon credits to change an industry

Since 2001, Meridian has been working to reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing process. Two particular processes that involved heating metal alloys emitted substantial greenhouse gases. Because these alloys can catch fire in the presence of oxygen, both processes take place in an enclosed airspace that is filled with a gas that will not ignite. Meridian had been using the industry standard “cover gas,” sulfur hexafluoride or SF6. This gas is inexpensive and easy to use. It is also an incredibly powerful greenhouse gas that has a global warming impact 22,800 times greater than CO2.

To address this, Meridian worked in partnership with the EPA and others to find alternatives to SF6. The group selected an alternative gas mixture called NOVEC-612 as the best environmental option; unfortunately it was also one of the most expensive.

In order to fund the switch to NOVEC-612, Meridian helped write a carbon credit methodology available for use by all manufacturers. This methodology allows magnesium product manufacturers to generate, verify, and sell carbon credits.

Meridian was the first commercial user of NOVEC-612 in the United States. The sale of carbon credits has been the sole source of revenue in funding the initial investment and ongoing costs associated with the change to this new gas.

 

3Degrees + Carbon Offsets

At 3Degrees, we are committed to bringing high quality carbon offset projects to the market, providing our customers with unique and meaningful projects.

Hydrodec oil recycling

Map showing location of Hydrodec carbon offset project in Canton, Ohio

Hydrodec oil recycling

Industry first: Transformer oil reclamation and recycling project

Transformer oil is used in equipment needed to run the U.S. electric grid. Over time, the oil becomes contaminated, performance degrades and the oil must be replaced. Typically, when this happens, the spent oil is incinerated, creating carbon dioxide and other pollutants such as dioxins.

Hydrodec has developed a process where they re-refine the oil into new, virgin quality oil. The project is the first of its kind, revolutionizing a process that typically creates significant environmental pollution. Re-refining is the EPA’s preferred method of oil recycling because it closes the recycling loop and returns the product to its original condition. Used oil can be re-refined many times, thereby by avoiding both incineration (and associated pollution) and the use of new oil.

The importance of carbon offsets for this project

The emission reductions quantified and verified are from the avoidance of CO2 created by incineration of the waste oil. For every ton of carbon emissions avoided, a carbon offset is created. The sale of the carbon offsets is an important source of revenue because this process costs more than incinerating the oil and buying new. Hydrodec will use the sale of carbon credits to pay for improvements it made to its re-refining plant, to compete against virgin crude refiners and to expand its waste oil collection efforts.

Environmental and social benefits

In addition to the GHG impact the project also provides additional benefits:

+ Reduced demand for new crude oil

+ 67% reduction in energy use in the re-refining process (compared to virgin crude)

+ Reduction in dioxins (highly toxic to humans) that result from incineration

+ Creation of 30 full-time jobs in Canton, Ohio, an area with an unemployment rate 30% above the national average

3Degrees + Carbon Offsets

At 3Degrees, we are committed to bringing high quality carbon offset projects to the market, providing our customers with unique and meaningful projects.