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

Hydrodec oil recycling


Canton, Ohio


Transformer oil recycling


50,000 metric tons of CO2 per year


July 2008




American Carbon Registry


Project Profile

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

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