The Sulphur Directive for the Baltic Sea, North Sea and English Channel SECAs aim to cut sulphur levels to 0.1% for fuels used within 12 nautical miles (22,2 km) of the SECA coastlines. The situation today is that 70% of the heavily-polluting ship emissions occur within 400 km of land.
How the authorities will control that ship owners follow the rules may be a challenge. Monitoring with "sniffers" flying over pipes on vessels has been tried, with little success. It is also possible to send control crews to continuously sample the fuel in the ships. But this is probably a too extensive task to do.
A new Norwegian solution may solve the problem.
Solved an aviation problem
24 years ago, the Australian scientist Dr. Fred Prata, got the idea for a camera in the air that could see "invisible" ash particles from volcanoes. In his own country Dr. Prata’s idea met little interest.
Seven years ago he took his idea to the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU). And they loved the idea!
The infrared ash detection system can be installed on air planes to detect volcanic ash and alert the pilots in due time. The system has been called AVOID and is now promoted by the spin-off company Nicarnica Aviation.
Dr. Fred Prata from NILU and Ian Davies from easyJet won the prestigious aviation prize “Flightglobal Achievement Awards – Aviator of the year” in 2012. The prize was awarded for their cooperation and dedication to realize the AVOID ash detector, which can enable continued air traffic in the event of volcano eruption.
Takes it a step further
The NILU scientists will now use the same technology to solve a major challenge: Sulphur emissions from ships.
- Everyone agrees that something must be done. But nobody knew how to do it, until we came up with this idea based on NILU's research, says Mr. John J. Ackerman III, Innovation Director at NILU.
The system is based on cameras which can see ultraviolet light (UV) and infrared light (IR).
PortsEye sees you!
The PortsEYE camera can be placed at the entrances to ports. The port authorities in different countries and cities can easily monitor emissions up to 5 km away from all ships passing in and out.
With funding from The Research Council of Norway, the technology has been tested in collaboration with EU’s Joint Research Centre. Contacts have also been established with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), which is interested in using PortsEYE as a tool to monitor that the EU requirements are followed up by the shipping companies and ships.