Applications / Automotive / Emission Regulations

Automotive

EVAL™ enables to produce lighter fuel tanks with very low evaporative emissions.

Emission Regulations

United States Emission Regulations

As environmental policies continue to evolve, several efforts have been made to improve the air quality

Emission regulations for fuel tanks in the United States started in 1990 with the passage of the Clean Air Act.  This Congressional Act was passed as part of a sweeping effort to improve the quality of air by limiting pollution from all sources.  Two agencies then crafted regulations for industries to follow in an effort to comply.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a federal agency whose regulations have become the minimum standard for the entire country.  The state of California, being the most severely polluted in the US, crafted stricter regulations of their own (enacted by California Air Resources Board or CARB) and now hold precedent over EPA regulations in that state.

 

The LEV I, II, III Initiatives in the United States

Other states are free to adopt either the EPA regulations or any other regulation that is more stringent. As a result of this, several states in the northeast have adopted either CARB’s regulations or some variation of it. The CARB regulations are called LEV (low emission vehicle) and were first enforced in 1994.  LEV I was in effect until 2003.  From 2003-2010, LEV II were in effect. With LEV II standards, an average 2010 vehicle produces 10 pounds of smog, compared to a LEV I vehicle that produces an average of 50 pounds. In 2012, LEV III criteria was agreed upon and began being enforced in 2015. These amendments include more stringent standards for both criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases for passenger vehicles. A notable change with LEV III, in regard to fuel tanks, was the standard test fuel. This meant, all LEV III must be certified on E10 (10% ethanol) gasoline.


The EPA Tier Regulations

The EPA regulations are known as Tier regulations. Tier 1 was enforced up to 2004. Tier 2 began in 2004, and is still in effect. At least 45 states follow these regulations. In 2017, Tier 3 will set new vehicle emissions standards. The Tier 3 initiatives reduce both tailpipe and evaporative emissions for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, and some heavy-duty trucks.

 

Evaporative emission regulations

EVOH solution


European Emission Regulations

For many years, the only fuel vapor emission standard used throughout most of Europe was found in ECE R34. This was related only to fuel tank permeation. The test required to meet ECE R34 consisted of placing a partially filled fuel tank in an enclosed chamber at 40°C for 24 hours. The total weight loss could not be more than 20 grams. This is close to the permeation levels of some untreated tanks.

Based upon US regulations, the European Economic Community (EEC) required vehicles to pass a SHED-type evaporative emission test. This test measured emissions from the entire vehicle while it was subjected to a diurnal (1 hour 16-30°C) and hot-soak (1 hour 23-31°C) emission. The limit value of 2 grams per vehicle cycle applies to the entire vehicle and the total sum of all hydrocarbons. More information can be found in Directive 70/220/EEC, updated versions 94/12/EC and 96/69/EC.

Starting in 2000, the European Community required vehicles to meet new regulations which are known as Euro 3 (or EURO 2000). Euro 3, specified in Directive 98/69/EC was introduced from 1st of January 2000 and became fully effective, for the majority of vehicles, on 1st January 2001. The limit value of 2 grams per test cycle was retained, but the duration of testing for tank permeation losses was extended from 1 hour to 24 hours (24 hour 20-35°C diurnal & hot-soak 1 hour 23-31°C). Hence, as with the US regulations, fuel permeation is an important component of the overall evaporative emissions. Euro 3 legislation was quite close to the enhanced evaporative emission regulations that have been introduced in the US under EPA Tier 1.

The Euro 4 standard, which started 1st January 2005 and became fully effective on 1st January 2007 was also specified in Directive 98/69/EC.

For the Euro 5 and Euro 6 emission standards, originally defined in Commission Regulation 715/2007 (implemented and amended with Commission Regulations 692/2008, 459/2012 and 2017/1221), evaporative emissions were still limited to 2.0 g per test. As a reference fuel E5 (5% Ethanol) was defined by Commission Regulation 692/2008. The Euro 5 standard was implemented from 1st September 2009 for new approvals, and fully effective on 1st January 2011. The Euro 6(b) standard was implemented between 1st September 2014 and 1st September 2015.

Following the 2012 Report EUR 25640 EN of the European Commission (Review of the European Test Procedures for Evaporative Emissions: Main Issues and Proposed Solutions), the European Commission formulated Regulation 2017/1221, which provides an amended methodology for the determination of evaporative emissions. This new methodology requires the use of an E10 reference fuel (10% ethanol), while evaporative emissions have been reduced to 2 g/48 h (2-day diurnal test). These new requirements have been implemented along the introduction of the Euro 6c norm, which were implemented for passenger cars between September 2017 and September 2018.

 

A proven track record

EVAL™ EVOH products are commercially used in multilayer plastic fuel tanks, lines and filler pipes. Over 600 million cars have been produce to date using EVAL™ with no known fuel systems failures related to the EVAL™ product.