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Post Date: 30 January 2019

PRESS RELEASE: World leading air sensing technology with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for high Sulphur fuel screening and ship emission measurement

[HONG KONG] 30 Jan 2019: Institute for the Environment (HKUST-IENV) today showcased its world leading air sensing technology with its first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform for high Sulphur fuel screening for ship emission measurement. This highly compact sensor package has the capability of measuring a wide range of pollutants – SO2, NO, NO2, CO, CO2, and PM, and is designed to identify ships using high Sulphur fuel and violating the Air Pollution Control (Fuel for Vessels) Regulation, which became effective on 1 Jan 2019 and mandates all vessels to use compliant fuels within Hong Kong waters.

New regulations in PRD and Hong Kong waters effective 1 Jan 2019

Navigation has been the biggest source of air pollution in Hong Kong, contributing 49% of SO2, 37% of NO[x], 38% of PM10 and 44% of PM2.5 according to Environmental Protection Department’s (EPD) 2016 Emission Inventory. With the increasingly stringent air quality objectives, control of local emission sources is becoming more important in order to improve air quality and to protect public health.

As a result, new regulations have been implemented from 1 Jan 2019 to control ship emissions in the Domestic Emission Control Areas (DECA) in PRD waters[1] as well as within the Hong Kong waters[2]. In Hong Kong, ocean-going vessels (OGVs) that are using heavy fuel oil (with an average Sulphur content of 2.6%) are now required to switch to compliant fuel (equivalent to cleaner fuel with Sulphur content less than 0.5%) before entering Hong Kong waters.

Previous enforcement methods in Hong Kong and around the world mostly relied on examining vessels’ fuel-use log-book, visual inspections on smoke opacities, or offline fuel sample analysis. To effectively enforce the regulations calls for a state-of-the-art innovation to generate real-time and reliable data to efficiently screen non-compliant ships.

UAV-based air sensing technology by HKUST-IENV

A research team led by Prof. Zhi NING and co-supervised by Prof. Jimmy FUNG and Prof. Alexis LAU from HKUST-IENV has been developing with the Hong Kong EPD on a proof-of-concept for an advanced real-time ship fuel Sulphur content (FSC) measurement using a UAV based sensor system.

Facilitated by cloud-based real-time data communication and computing, the system is capable to measure the Fuel Sulphur content (FSC) ranging from 0.05 to 5.0% in 2 minutes after scanning the ship plumes in general operation distance of 50-meter away from the vessel.

The current UAV-based sensor system provides speedy, real-time and accurate screening solution for fuel sulfur content compliance screening which is less labor-intensive with significant improvement of enforcement efficiency.

IENV is grateful to see our scientific and technology innovations being used to support environmental policies and combating air pollution in a local and regional scale. We anticipate to develop more cutting-edge technologies for a cleaner environment and sustainable development.

[1] Implementation Scheme of the Domestic Emission Control Areas for Atmospheric Pollution from Vessels (30 Nov 2018)

[2] Vessels required to use compliant fuel within Hong Kong waters from today (1 Jan 2019)

 

新聞稿:科大全球領先無人機傳感器技術 助環保署篩查高硫船舶控制廢氣排放

【香港】2019年1月30日:香港科技大學(科大)環境研究所今天發表了最新無人機傳感器技術。需要安裝在無人機的傳感器原型雖然體積輕巧,但具備能夠量度多種主要船舶廢氣排放污染物(包括二氧化碳「CO[2]」、一氧化氮「NO」、二氧化氮「NO[2]」、二氧化硫「SO[2]」、一氧化碳「CO」和懸浮粒子「PM」)的功能,足以配合剛於2019年1月1日實施的《空氣污染管制(船用燃料)規例》,在要求所有船隻進入香港水域後須使用合規格燃料的政策上,為篩查高硫船舶控制廢氣排放提供快速且準確的數據。

2019年1月1日珠三角及香港水域新規例同步生效

船舶廢氣排放一直是香港最大的污染源。香港環境保護署(環保署)2016年排放清單顯示,由船舶排出的二氧化硫「SO[2]」(49%)、氮氧化物「NO[x]」(37%)、可吸入懸浮粒子「PM[10]」(38%)和微細懸浮粒子「PM[2.5]」(44%),均佔本地總排放量的最大比重。隨著香港逐步收緊其「空氣質素指標」,我們需要愈益嚴格的污染管制措施。香港[1] 與珠三角[2] 海域,均已於本年(2019年1月1日)起實施有關設定排放控制區的新法例,全面控制船隻的廢氣排放問題。

在香港,所有過去使用平均含硫量2.6%俗稱「重油」的遠洋船隻,均需要在香港水域內轉用相等於含硫量不超過0.5%的較潔淨燃料。若要令此新措施取得成效,我們需要一套能進行快速且準確的篩查方案。香港以至世界各地的相關執法部門,過去均依賴搜查船隻的燃料使用記錄,或以目測方法「量度」廢氣的顏色深淺度(Opacity Test),甚至抽取船隻的燃油樣本進行離岸檢測分析。

科大環境研究所無人機傳感器技術

由科大環境研究所寧治教授帶領的研究團隊,在馮志雄教授及劉啟漢教授的支援下,積極與香港環保署合作,研發以無人機技術量度船用燃料含硫量的相關技術。

無人機在船舶廢氣排放約50米範圍外進行偵測後,系統會透過雲端技術傳送實時數據及進行電腦分析,並能夠在短短兩分鐘內,準確運算出在0.05%-5.0%範圍內的船舶燃料含硫量。

此無人機傳感器技術,提供了快速、實時,且準確的替代方案。運作過程能大大減少對人手操控的依賴,並同時提高相關的執法效率。

能夠將創新的科學技術研究應用於環境政策,應對本地以至區域性空氣污染問題上,我們感到非常高興。科大環境研究所志力研發更多尖端技術,為潔淨的環境及可持續發展,提供更廣泛的應用方案。

[1]  香港水域船隻今日起須使用合規格燃料 (2019年1月1日)

[2]  交通運輸部關於印發船舶大氣污染物排放控制區實施方案的通知 (2018年11月30日)

Media Coverage 媒體報導

1.       31-Jan-19 – 蘋果日報 – 科大無人機 兩分鐘捉船污染 – CLICK HERE

2.       31-Jan-19 – 明報 – 科大無人機傳感器 兩分鐘檢查船排放 – CLICK HERE

3.       31-Jan-19 – 晴報 – 無人機傳感器 2分鐘查船排放污染物 – CLICK HERE

4.       30-Jan-19 – HK01 – 科大研無人機傳感器技術 實時量度船舶排放污染物 – CLICK HERE

5.       30-Jan-19 – HKET – 科大研無人機傳感器 助篩查遠洋船排放 – CLICK HERE

6.       30-Jan-19 – 東方 – 科大研無人機查船舶廢氣 2分鐘速檢濃煙污染物 – CLICK HERE

7.       30-Jan-19 – TVB – 科大研無人機傳感器技術 可實時偵測船隻排放廢氣 – CLICK HERE

8.       30-Jan-19 – SCMP – Hong Kong authorities set to ramp up fight against air pollution from ships by

           flying drones to monitor emissions – CLICK HERE

9.       30-Jan-19 – 頭條日報 – 科大研無人機傳感器 量度船舶廢氣排放 – CLICK HERE

10.     30-Jan-19 – 星島日報 – 科大研無人機傳感器 量度船舶廢氣排放 – CLICK HERE

11.     30-Jan-19 – Ship & Bunker – Hong Kong to trial drones in ship pollution campaign – CLICK HERE

12.     30-Jan-19 – China Daily  – Drone sensor tech will help monitor ship emissions – CLICK HERE

13.     14-Mar-19 – 明報 – 環保署研無人機 實時監測遠洋船排放 – CLICK HERE

14.     15-May-19 – The Standard – High time for clarity on sea emissions – CLICK HERE

15.     21-May-19 – Bloomberg – Sniffer Drones Will Start Patrolling the World's Busiest Shipping Ports –
          CLICK HERE