Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Soot From Ships Worse Than Expected

09.07.2008
Large cargo ships emit more than twice as much soot as previously estimated, and tugboats puff out more soot for the amount of fuel used than other commercial vessels, according to the first extensive study of commercial vessel emissions.

In the Arctic, an increase in soot may contribute to climate change if shipping routes expand, according to the study.

Oceangoing tankers and container ships emit half a gram of soot per kilogram of fuel burned when at dock and slightly less when traveling, according to scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado (CU) who conducted the new study. Tugs emit nearly a gram of soot per kilogram of fuel burned--twice as much as any other vessel type, the authors find.

"Tugboats are a huge source of black carbon that may be under- reported or not reported at all in emissions inventories compiled by ports," says the study lead author Daniel Lack of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) and the NOAA-CU Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

He and his colleagues will present their findings on 11 July 2008 in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, or AGU.

Commercial shipping releases roughly 130,000 metric tons of soot per year, or 1.7 percent of the global total--much of it near highly populated coastlines, the authors estimate. In the coming years global shipping is expected to grow two to six percent annually.

Exceptionally high soot levels from tugboats point to their low- quality fuel--a thick, black tar left over from crude oil after the gasoline and kerosene have been removed. Engine age and maintenance also play a role. Tugboats have a disproportionate impact on air quality because they travel within ports, emitting potentially harmful particles near populous urban areas, according to the authors.

To investigate ship emissions, the researchers observed plumes from commercial vessels in open ocean waters, channels, and ports along the southeastern United States and Texas during the summer of 2006. From the NOAA research vessel, Ronald H. Brown, the team measured black carbon emitted by tankers, cargo and container ships, large fishing boats, tug boats, and ferries, many of them in the Houston Ship Channel.

"Commercial shipping emissions have been one of the least studied areas of all combustion emissions," says Lack. "The two previous studies of soot emissions examined a total of three ships. We reviewed plumes from 96 different vessels."

A 2007 study by American and German scientists linked particle pollution from shipping to tens of thousands of premature deaths each year, most of them along coastlines in Europe, East Asia, and South Asia. Soot makes up a quarter of that pollution, says Lack.

The primary sources of soot, or small particles of black carbon, are fossil fuel combustion, wildfires, and burning vegetation for agricultural purposes. On a global scale, soot currently traps about 30 percent as much heat as does carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, according to the latest assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Small dark soot particles absorb sunlight, create haze, and affect how clouds form and make rain, further altering a region's heat balance, according to the new study. If commercial shipping extends new routes through Arctic waters as they become navigable, soot emissions there could increase.

The NOAA program for climate change funded this study.

Peter Weiss | American Geophysical Union
Further information:
http://www.agu.org
http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008GL033906

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>