Features January 2013 Issue

EPA Mandate Sparks Fuel-vent Filter Test

Can carbon or silica-gel filters improve fuel quality?

Every day, as the temperature rises and falls, gases inside your fuel tank expand and contract. The emissions released during this diurnal breathing have raised concerns at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and in July 2011, the agency mandated passive carbon canister filters on all installed gasoline-tank vent lines to collect fuel evaporation emissions. While older boats are not required to retrofit, we wondered how such a filter would affect fuel quality and engine performance—and whether carbon is the most effective filter media—so we launched tests using E10, gasoline, and diesel to find out.

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