Rotational molders Centro Inc. and Arkema Inc. are stepping up to meet standards for lower-emission gasoline tanks that are still five and six years from being implemented in California.
The California Air Resource Board certified three of North Liberty, Iowa-based Centro's different fuel tanks that meet its testing requirements for low-evaporative emissions.
Arkema, headquartered in Philadelphia, also received qualifications.
``[California is] pushing the envelope on technology, and manufacturing is showing that [the goals are] achievable,'' said Jim Watson, the manager for engineering and testing at CARB.
He said, in 2003 the state board started setting standards for lawn and garden equipment that it wanted implemented in 2008. Thestandard is 2.5 grams per square meter per day for gasoline engines in the range of 80 cubic centimeters but less than 25 horsepower. It will fall to 1.5 grams in 2012 or 2013, depending on the size of the engine.
Originally the regulations might have required each engine to be tested, but the Resource Board's program allows manufacturers to use certified equipment such as fuel hoses, tanks and carbon canisters to meet the standard.
Watson said that standard is mostly for lawn and garden products, ranging from small pressure washers and edgers to lawn mowers. He said he expects the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt similar standards nationally in the future.
Centro was cited for tanks that showed a permeation rate substantially below the 2012-13 standard. The company passed the tests using a more stringent 10 percent ethanol fuel that was more difficult than the standard test.
Centro said that processes and materials used for two of the tanks are considered proprietary.
Arkema's tank has passed tests for cold temperature and impact for snowmobile and motorcycle standards.