Shipping must prepare for strict black carbon regs
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Tampere University of Technology and the University of Turku have joined forces in an international project – Shipping Emissions in the Arctic – with the aim of making the measurement of black carbon emissions from shipping more reliable.
The initial results show that engine loads and fuel types have a major impact on black carbon emissions from ships.
Pressure is mounting, because no common international environmental targets have been set for reducing black carbon emissions from shipping – and no standardised measurement techniques have been developed.
Incomplete combustion generates soot containing black carbon, which warms the atmosphere and causes health problems. “A reliable method of measuring black carbon emissions from shipping is sorely needed, now that the IMO (the International Maritime Organisation) is evaluating the need to control such emissions, but no reliable measurement technique has been identified,” says Research Team Leader Jukka Lehtomäki of VTT.
Alongside the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Tampere University of Technology and the University of Turku, VTT is seeking a straightforward and reliable way of evaluating and measuring black carbon emissions from ships, through the two-year 'Shipping Emissions in the Arctic' project launched in early 2015.
“The initial results have already revealed critical parameters in the measurement of black carbon; such parameters can be used to achieve more reliable results. Engine loads and fuel types had a major impact on black carbon emissions from the engine we studied”, explains Principal Scientist Päivi Aakko-Saksa of VTT.
The study will enable preparations to meet tightening international environmental regulations. Finnish businesses and industry can prepare now, by investing in research and development and new business activities.
More precise information on the emissions impact of different fuel types is helpful for developers of fuel and engine technology. The results can also be used to improve the accuracy of ship emission models and global emission inventories.