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.
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