Tanks for the green cycle

Greener motorcycle fuel tanks are being developed by researchers at Queen’s University, Belfast.


Greener motorcycle fuel tanks which can meet stringent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) targets for emissions are on the way as a result of work being carried out at the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) at Queen’s University.


The work is in conjunction with leading American, European and Japanese motorcycle companies.


Motorcycle manufacturers must now comply with legislation from the EPA which has been phasing in a reduction of fuel permeation under the Clean Air Act since 2002, and also from the Californian Air Resources Board (CARB). These global fuel emission regulations have forced motorcycle manufacturers to adapt and convert their fuel tanks to new ‘high fuel barrier’ materials.


In partnership with global polymer suppliers, Total Petrochemicals and Arkema, novel polymer tank constructions are being perfected in the rotational moulding laboratory of the PPRC at Queen’s. A week of industrial trials is scheduled for Japan in August and the team has recently completed trials in Italy and the USA.


‘Most people are familiar with the green oil tank in their gardens. The majority of these tanks are made by rotational moulding. Variations of the materials used for those tanks are the same for the new fuel emission compliant tanks that the motorcycle industry is moving towards,’ said Mark Kearns, Moulding Research Manager.


Further information on the work of the PPRC at Queen’s can be found here.