[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 110 (Thursday, June 7, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33733-33735]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-13823]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0893; FRL-9680-9]


Regulation of Fuel and Fuel Additives: Modification to Octamix 
Waiver (TXCeed)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency has reconsidered a portion 
of a fuel waiver that was granted to the Texas Methanol Corporation 
(Texas Methanol) under the Clean Air Act on February 8, 1988. This 
waiver was previously reconsidered and modified on October 28, 1988, in 
a Federal Register publication titled ``Fuel and Fuel Additives; 
Modification of a Fuel Waiver Granted to the Texas Methanol 
Corporation.'' Today's notice approves the use of an alternative 
corrosion inhibitor, TXCeed, in Texas Methanol's gasoline-alcohol fuel, 
OCTAMIX.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID 
Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0893. All documents and public comments in the 
docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. 
Publically available docket materials are available either 
electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at 
the Air Docket, EPA Headquarters Library, Mail Code: 2822T, EPA West 
Building, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public 
Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding holidays. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 
a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The 
telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1742, and the 
facsimile number for the Air Docket is (202) 566-9744.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information regarding this notice 
contact, Joseph R. Sopata, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office 
of Air and Radiation, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, (202) 
343-9034, fax number, (202) 343-2800, email address: 
sopata.joe@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    Section 211(f)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) makes it 
unlawful for any manufacturer of any fuel or fuel additive to first 
introduce into commerce, or to increase the concentration in use of, 
any fuel or fuel additive for use by any person in motor vehicles 
manufactured after model year 1974, which is not substantially similar 
to any fuel or fuel additive utilized in the certification of any model 
year 1975, or subsequent model year, vehicle or engine under section 
206 of the Act. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) 
last issued an interpretive rule on the phrase ``substantially 
similar'' at 73 FR 22281 (April 25, 2008). Generally speaking, this 
interpretive rule describes the types of unleaded gasoline that are 
likely to be considered ``substantially similar'' to the unleaded 
gasoline utilized in EPA's certification program by placing limits on a 
gasoline's chemical composition as well as its physical properties, 
including the amount of alcohols and ethers (oxygenates) that may be 
added to gasoline. Fuels that are found to be ``substantially similar'' 
to EPA's certification fuels may be registered and introduced into 
commerce. The current ``substantially similar'' interpretive rule for 
unleaded gasoline allows no more than 2.7 percent oxygen by weight for 
certain ethers and alcohols.
    Section 211(f)(4) of the Act provides that upon application of any 
fuel or fuel additive manufacturer, the Administrator may waive the 
prohibitions of section 211(f)(1) if the Administrator determines that 
the applicant has established that the fuel or fuel additive, or a 
specified concentration thereof, will not cause or contribute to a 
failure of any emission control device or system (over the useful life 
of the motor vehicle, motor vehicle engine, nonroad engine or nonroad 
vehicle in which such device or system is used) to achieve compliance 
by the vehicle or engine with the emission standards to which it has 
been certified pursuant to sections 206 and 213(a) of the Act. The 
statute requires that the Administrator shall take final action to 
grant or deny an application after public notice and comment, within 
270 days of receipt of the application.
    The Texas Methanol Corporation received a waiver under CAA section 
211(f)(4) for a gasoline-alcohol fuel

[[Page 33734]]

blend, known as OCTAMIX,\1\ provided that the resultant fuel is 
composed of a maximum of 3.7 percent by weight oxygen, a maximum of 5 
percent by volume methanol, a minimum of 2.5 percent by volume co-
solvents \2\ and 42.7 milligrams per liter (mg/l) of Petrolite TOLAD 
MFA-10 corrosion inhibitor \3\. In the OCTAMIX waiver, the Agency 
invited other corrosion inhibitor manufacturers to submit test data to 
establish, on a case-by-case basis, whether their fuel additive 
formulations are acceptable as alternatives to TOLAD MFA-10.\4\
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    \1\ OCTAMIX waiver decision, 53 FR 3636 (February 8, 1988).
    \2\ The co-solvents are any one or a mixture of ethanol, 
propanols, butanols, pentanols, hexanols, heptanols and octanols 
with the following constraints: the ethanol, propanols and butanols 
or mixtures thereof must compose a minimum of 60 percent by weight 
of the co-solvent mixture; a maximum limit of 40 percent by weight 
of the co-solvents mixture is placed on the pentanols, hexanols, 
heptanols and octanols; and the heptanols and octanols are limited 
to 5 percent by weight of the co-solvent mixture.
    \3\ Additional conditions were the final fuel must meet ASTM 
volatility specifications contained in ASTM D439-85a, as well as 
phase separation conditions specified in ASTM D-2 Proposal P-176 and 
Texas Methanol alcohol purity specifications.
    \4\ 53 FR 3637.
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    On March 23, 2011, Spirit of 21st Century LLC requested EPA allow 
the use of its alternative corrosion inhibitor, TXCeed, in the OCTAMIX 
gasoline-alcohol fuel blend which otherwise would not be allowed under 
the waiver.\5\ Spirit of 21st Century LLC subsequently followed up its 
March 23 request with additional information on May 17, 2011, July 6, 
2011 and August 15, 2011.6 7 8 TXCeed is a fuel additive 
formulation consisting of a corrosion inhibitor.
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    \5\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0893-03.
    \6\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0893-004.
    \7\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0893-006.
    \8\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0893-005.
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    On December 14, 2011, EPA published a notice in the Federal 
Register (76 FR 77828) announcing receipt of Spirit of 21st Century 
LLC's request and inviting comment on it. The comment period closed on 
January 13, 2012. There were no public comments submitted to the Agency 
in response to the notice published on December 14, 2011.

II. Discussion

    One of the major areas of concern to EPA in reviewing any waiver 
request is the problem of materials compatibility. Materials 
compatibility data could show a potential failure of fuel systems, 
emissions related parts and emission control parts from use of the fuel 
or fuel additive. Any failure could result in greater emissions that 
would cause or contribute to the engines or vehicles exceeding their 
emissions standards. Initially, Texas Methanol requested the use of 
TOLAD MFA-10 or an appropriate concentration of any other corrosion 
inhibitor such that the fuel will pass the National Association of 
Corrosion Engineer's TM-01-72 (NACE RUST TEST). However, EPA concluded 
that compliance with the NACE Rust Test alone was not adequate in 
determining suitability of a corrosion inhibitor for use under the 
OCTAMIX waiver.\9\ The Agency decided, therefore, to look at corrosion 
inhibitors on a case-by-case basis to establish whether each 
formulation would be acceptable as an alternative to the formulation of 
the original corrosion inhibitor, TOLAD MFA-10, used in the OCTAMIX 
waiver.\10\
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    \9\ 53 FR 3637.
    \10\ 53 FR 3637.
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    In order to determine whether the OCTAMIX waiver would meet the 
criteria of section 211(f) if TXCeed were to be used as an alternative 
corrosion inhibitor, EPA reviewed all data submitted with or referenced 
by the Spirit of 21st Century LLC application. Spirit of 21st Century 
LLC provided data showing their corrosion inhibitor, TXCeed, met ASTM 
\11\ and NACE \12\ corrosion test results, as well as physical property 
information.
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    \11\ ASTM D130-04e\1\ and ASTM D4814-10a.
    \12\ NACE Standard TM0172-2001.
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    TXCeed is a fuel additive mixture of naturally occurring 
triglyceride oils and terpenes that purports to eliminate the corrosion 
tendencies of alcohols. While both TOLAD MFA-10 and DMA-67 were only 
evaluated with respect to their corrosion inhibitor efficacy under the 
NACE corrosion test, TXCeed was evaluated and passed the most current 
NACE corrosion test and two additional corrosion tests, the ASTM silver 
and copper corrosion tests.\13\ Moreover, TXCeed was evaluated on the 
most aggressive fuel formulation of alcohols allowed under the OCTAMIX 
waiver,\14\ which is an OCTAMIX fuel formulation that included only 
methanol at 5 volume percent and ethanol at 2.5 volume percent. The use 
of higher molecular weight cosolvent alcohols, such as propanols or 
butanols, would tend to be less corrosive. Since TXCeed passed the most 
current NACE corrosion test and the ASTM silver and copper corrosion 
tests using the most aggressive fuel formulation allowed under the 
OCTAMIX waiver, the Agency believes that Spirit of 21st Century LLC has 
met the burden of showing that it is an effective corrosion inhibitor 
for use under the OCTAMIX waiver.
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    \13\ See EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0893-0003.
    \14\ The co-solvents are any one or a mixture of ethanol, 
propanols, butanols, pentanols, hexanols, heptanols and octanols 
with the following constraints: the ethanol, propanols and butanols 
or mixtures thereof must compose a minimum of 60 percent by weight 
of the co-solvent mixture; a maximum limit of 40 percent by weight 
of the co-solvents mixture is placed on the pentanols, hexanols, 
heptanols and octanols; and the heptanols and octanols are limited 
to 5 percent by weight of the co-solvent mixture.
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    With regard to the question of the emissions impacts of TXCeed, 
Table 1 compares the physical properties (including the treat rate) of 
TXCeed to a previously approved corrosion inhibitor under the OCTAMIX 
waiver, DMA-67. Normally we would compare the physical properties of 
the new corrosion inhibitor (TXCeed) to the physical properties of the 
corrosion inhibitor previously approved under the waiver (TOLAD MFA-
10). In this instance, the physical property information for TOLAD MFA-
10 is no longer available, so we are comparing the physical properties 
of TXCeed with the physical properties of an alternative corrosion 
inhibitor previously approved under the OCTAMIX waiver, DMA-67. TXCeed 
is added at about 30 times more than that of DMA-67, has a similar 
specific gravity, and a much improved ash content performance. Although 
TXCeed's flash point and viscosity are larger than DMA-67, TXCeed's 
chemical composition and treat rate of less than 0.1 mass percent by 
weight is such that it is a fuel additive falling under the baseline 
gasoline fuel grouping category \15\ under our fuel and fuel additive 
registration regulations. In addition, TXCeed's chemical composition 
and treat rate is such that it meets our substantially similar 
definition \16\. Given that TXCeed is a fuel additive that is both 
substantially similar to the fuel additives used in our certification 
program and a fuel additive falling under the baseline gasoline fuel 
category, one would not expect significant emissions changes from the 
use of TXCeed compared to other fuel additives that fall under the 
baseline gasoline fuel category, which also includes TOLAD MFA-10 and 
DMA-67. Therefore, as long as the other conditions of the OCTAMIX 
waiver are met, which include applicable gasoline volatility 
specifications,\17\ gasoline

[[Page 33735]]

phase separation specifications \18\ and alcohol purity conditions,\19\ 
the Agency believes that the use of TXCeed in place of TOLAD MFA-10 
will allow engines and vehicles to remain compliant with their 
emissions standards when using fuels made as approved under the 
original conditions granted for the OCTAMIX waiver.
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    \15\ See 40 CFR 79.56(e)(3)(i).
    \16\ For our most recent substantially similar gasoline 
interpretative rule, please see: http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-AIR/2008/April/Day-25/a8944.pdf.
    \17\ See 40 CFR 80.27 for applicable volatility specifications 
for conventional gasoline, or 40 CFR part 80 subpart D for 
reformulated gasoline requirements, or any applicable state 
implementation plan approved by EPA that includes low RVP fuel.
    \18\ See American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D4814 
for applicable gasoline phase separation conditions.
    \19\ Additional conditions were the final fuel must meet ASTM 
volatility specifications contained in ASTM D439-85a, as well as 
phase separation conditions specified in ASTM D-2 Proposal P-176 and 
Texas Methanol alcohol purity specifications. Since the time that 
the OCTAMIX waiver was granted, ASTM D4814 has superceded ASTM 
volatility specifications contained in ASTM D439-85a and the phase 
separation conditions specified in ASTM D-2 Proposal P-176.

            Table 1--Physical Properties of DMA-67 and TXCeed
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Physical Properties............  DMA-67.............  TXCeed
Treat Rate (mg/liter)..........  31.4...............  987.6
Physical Form..................  Clear Amber Liquid.  Liquid \20\
Specific Gravity 60/60 [deg]F..  0.93...............  0.9662
Flash Point, PMCC, [deg]F......  64 [deg]F..........  230 [deg]F
Ash Content, weight percent....  <0.1...............  <0.0001
Viscosity, cSt @0 [deg]F.......  663................  19210
Viscosity, cSt @32 [deg]F......  180................  3220
Viscosity, cST @100 [deg]F.....  30.................  151
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\20\ According to Spirit of 21st Century LLC, the color of the liquid is
  dependent on the clarity of the chemical components comprised in fuel
  additive formulation of TXCeed.

III. Finding and Conclusion

    Based on the information submitted by Spirit of 21st Century LLC in 
its application, I conclude that the performance of TXCeed in OCTAMIX 
would be comparable to TOLAD MFA-10 and DMA-67. Therefore, I am 
modifying condition (3) of the OCTAMIX waiver to read as follows:
    (3) Any one of the following three corrosion inhibitors must be 
included:
    (a) Petrolite's corrosion inhibitor formulation, TOLAD MFA-10, 
blended in the final fuel at 42.7 mg/l;
    OR
    (b) DuPont's corrosion inhibitor formulation, DMA-67, blended in 
the final fuel at 31.4 mg/l;
    OR
    (c) Spirit of 21st Century LLC's corrosion inhibitor formulation, 
TXCeed, blended in the final fuel at 3.9 ml/gal (987.6 mg/l).
    This action should provide additional flexibility to any 
manufacturer wishing to produce the OCTAMIX blend. At the same time, 
any manufacturer wishing to use a corrosion inhibitor other than the 
three permitted by the OCTAMIX waiver must apply for a further 
modification of the waiver. Since EPA is still unaware of any basis for 
extrapolating findings in the emissions impact of one inhibitor to 
other inhibitors, the Agency will continue to examine the emissions 
impact of specific corrosion inhibitor formulations on a case-by-case 
basis.

IV. Miscellaneous

    This waiver modification decision is final agency action of 
national applicability for purposes of section 307(b)(1) of the Act. 
Pursuant to CAA section 307(b)(1), judicial review of this final agency 
action may be sought only in the United States Court of Appeals for the 
District of Columbia Circuit. Petitions for review must be filed by 
August 6, 2012. Judicial review of this final agency action may not be 
obtained in subsequent proceedings, pursuant to CAA section 307(b)(2). 
This action is not a rulemaking and is not subject to the various 
statutory and other provisions applicable to a rulemaking.

    Dated: May 31, 2012.
Lisa P. Jackson,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-13823 Filed 6-6-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P