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Measuring Pollutant Emissions in Maritime Transport

News ADEME june 19

ESTACA researchers mandated by the ADEME

The maritime sector is lagging behind in terms of pollutants (sulphur dioxide, nitrogen and fine particles) making controlling these emissions an essential environmental challenge. To obtain tangible data on the levels of pollutants generated by the French fleet, a research team at ESTACA has been asked by the ADEME to launch project CAPNAV (Characterisation of emissions of fine particles from ships) from September 2019. Over 3 years, this study will quantify pollutant emissions generated by maritime transport, eventually to propose technical solutions and new regulatory standards for reducing these emissions.

This is an ambitious project that meets a major environmental and health challenge.

Pollutants and emissions of fine particles from navigation are some of the most harmful. They can lead to heart and respiratory disease, causing premature deaths in the inhabitants of coastal regions. The CAPNAV project, led by ESTACA’s QUAD research team (Quality of Air and Depollution), and supported by the French environmental agency (ADEME), aims at finding solutions to this problem. From September 2019 for 36 months, teacher-researchers will apply a fine particle measurement method to ships that is similar to the one used in the automotive and aeronautics sectors.

Measurement System Tested on Brittany Ferries and Pen Ar Bed Ferries

Several French ship owners have agreed to participate in the ESTACA/ADEME initiative. The Breton company Penn Ar Bed (ships running on marine diesel), and Brittany Ferries, specialised in passenger ferries, are partners to the experiment. Onboard their ships, they will host ESTACA teacher-researchers, but also staff from the École Nationale Supérieure Maritime in Nantes (ENSM) and IMT Atlantique Bretagne-Pays de la Loire, also participating in the project, to conduct the necessary measurements.

This is the first time that onboard instrumentation will be used to quantify emissions in real-time and provide many parameters on the fine particles emanating from ships manoeuvring or tied up in port. Sensors applied directly on the ships’ stacks will estimate particulate emissions at their source. At the same time, ESTACA-led research teams will measure the impact of the emissions on the air quality on board the ships.

Finally, polluting emission reducing solutions will be assessed: the additional of additives to marine diesel and the use of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG).