Articles | Volume 7, issue 8
Research article
19 Aug 2014
Research article |  | 19 Aug 2014

Field test of available methods to measure remotely SOx and NOx emissions from ships

J. M. Balzani Lööv, B. Alfoldy, L. F. L. Gast, J. Hjorth, F. Lagler, J. Mellqvist, J. Beecken, N. Berg, J. Duyzer, H. Westrate, D. P. J. Swart, A. J. C. Berkhout, J.-P. Jalkanen, A. J. Prata, G. R. van der Hoff, and A. Borowiak

Abstract. Methods for the determination of ship fuel sulphur content and NOx emission factors based on remote measurements have been compared in the harbour of Rotterdam and compared to direct stack emission measurements on the ferry Stena Hollandica. The methods were selected based on a review of the available literature on ship emission measurements. They were either optical (LIDAR, Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS), UV camera), combined with model-based estimates of fuel consumption, or based on the so called "sniffer" principle, where SO2 or NOx emission factors are determined from simultaneous measurement of the increase of CO2 and SO2 or NOx concentrations in the plume of the ship compared to the background. The measurements were performed from stations at land, from a boat and from a helicopter. Mobile measurement platforms were found to have important advantages compared to the land-based ones because they allow optimizing the sampling conditions and sampling from ships on the open sea. Although optical methods can provide reliable results it was found that at the state of the art level, the "sniffer" approach is the most convenient technique for determining both SO2 and NOx emission factors remotely. The average random error on the determination of SO2 emission factors comparing two identical instrumental set-ups was 6%. However, it was found that apparently minor differences in the instrumental characteristics, such as response time, could cause significant differences between the emission factors determined. Direct stack measurements showed that about 14% of the fuel sulphur content was not emitted as SO2. This was supported by the remote measurements and is in agreement with the results of other field studies.