Characterization of trace gas emissions at an intermediate port

Aldona Wiacek, Li Li, Keane Tobin, Morgan Mitchell
2018 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Growing ship traffic in Atlantic Canada strengthens the local economy but also plays an important role in greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions in our coastal environment. A mobile open-path Fourier transform infrared (OP-FTIR) spectrometer was set up in Halifax Harbour (Nova Scotia, Canada), an intermediate harbour integrated into the downtown core, to measure trace gas concentrations in the vicinity of marine vessels, in some cases with direct or near-direct
more » ... rect or near-direct marine combustion plume intercepts. This is the first application of the OP-FTIR measurement technique to real-time, spectroscopic measurements of CO<sub>2</sub>, CO, O<sub>3</sub>, NO<sub>2</sub>, NH<sub>3</sub>, CH<sub>3</sub>OH, HCHO, CH<sub>4</sub> and N<sub>2</sub>O in the vicinity of harbour emissions originating from a variety of marine vessels, and the first measurement of shipping emissions in the ambient environment along the eastern seaboard of North America outside of the Gulf Coast. The spectrometer, its active mid-IR source and detector were located on shore while the passive retroreflector was on a nearby island, yielding a 455-m open path over the ocean (910<span class="thinspace"></span>m two-way). Atmospheric absorption spectra were recorded during day, night, sunny, cloudy and substantially foggy or precipitating conditions, with a temporal resolution of 1<span class="thinspace"></span>minute or better. A weather station was co-located with the retroreflector to aid in processing of absorption spectra and interpretation of results, while a webcam recorded images of the harbour once per minute. Trace gas concentrations were retrieved from spectra by the MALT non-linear least squares iterative fitting routine. During field measurements (7 days in Jul&amp;ndash;Aug, 2016; 12 days in Jan, 2017) Automatic Identification System (AIS) information on nearby ship activity was collected manually from a commercial website and used to calculate emission rates of shipping combustion products (CO<sub>2</sub>, CO, NO<sub>x</sub>, HC, SO<sub>2</sub>), which were then linked to measured concentration variations using ship position and wind information. During periods of low wind speed we observed extended (~<span class="thinspace"></span>9<span class="thinspace"></span>hr) emission accumulations combined with near-complete O<sub>3</sub> titration, both in winter and in summer. Our results compare well with a NAPS monitoring station ~<span class="thinspace"></span>1<span class="thinspace"></span>km away, pointing to the extended spatial scale of this effect, commonly found in much larger European shipping channels. We calculated total marine sector emissions in Halifax Harbour based on a complete AIS dataset of ship activity during the cruise ship season (May&amp;ndash;Oct 2015) and the remainder of the year (Nov 2015&amp;ndash;Apr 2016) and found trace gas emissions (tonnes) to be on average 2.8<span class="thinspace"></span>% higher during the cruise ship season, when passenger ship emissions were found to contribute 18<span class="thinspace"></span>% of emitted CO<sub>2</sub>, CO, NO<sub>x</sub>, SO<sub>2</sub> and HC (0.5<span class="thinspace"></span>% off season). Similarly calculated particulate emissions are 4.1<span class="thinspace"></span>% higher during the cruise ship season, when passenger ship emissions contribute 18<span class="thinspace"></span>% of emitted PM (0.5<span class="thinspace"></span>% off season). Tugs were found to make the biggest contribution to harbour emissions of trace gases in both cruise ship season (23<span class="thinspace"></span>% NO<sub>x</sub>, 24<span class="thinspace"></span>% SO<sub>2</sub>) and off season (26<span class="thinspace"></span>% of both SO<sub>2</sub> and NO<sub>x</sub>), followed by container ships (25<span class="thinspace"></span>% NO<sub>x</sub> and SO<sub>2</sub> in off season, 21<span class="thinspace"></span>% NO<sub>x</sub> and SO<sub>2</sub> in cruise ship season), but then either cruise ships in third place in season or tankers in third place off season, both responsible for 18<span class="thinspace"></span>% of trace gas emissions. While the concentrations of all regulated trace gases measured by OP-FTIR as well as the nearby in situ NAPS sensors were well below maximum hourly permissible levels at all times during the 19 measurement days, we find that AIS-based shipping emissions of NO<sub>x</sub> over the course of one year are 4.2 times greater than those of a nearby 500<span class="thinspace"></span>MW stationary source emitter and greater than or comparable to all vehicle NO<sub>x</sub> emissions in the city. Our findings highlight the need to accurately represent emissions of the shipping and marine sectors at intermediate ports integrated into urban environments. Emissions can be represented as pseudo-stationary and/or pseudo-line sources.</p>
doi:10.5194/acp-2017-1153 fatcat:hdkr7xwljrfzffw6gp52p4wqwy