Living Smart

II ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABILITY 066 067 High time for clarity on sea emissions Prof. NING Zhi Associate Professor, Division of Environment and Sustainability M arine emissions account for 40 percent of air pollution sources in Hong Kong – making them one of the city’ s most significant pollutant sources. Given the SAR’ s status as one of the busiest ports in the world, enforcing clean fuel laws is absolutely essential in our quest to clean up our air. Traditionally, policing high sulfur fuel usage is a time-consuming affair: checking ship logs, collecting samples from fuel tanks, taking them back to the lab and then conducting analyses. This process takes days and even weeks. By the time these measurements are complete, the ships are likely to be already far from Hong Kong. Regulators have been looking for a more efficient solution to detect and screen the vessels violating the fuel sulfur cap regulations. This year, my team at HKUST is partnering with the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) for the first trials of drone-mounted sensors that can measure a range of ship emission pollutants with sulfur dioxide being the primary pollutant of interest. This pollutant is formed as the sulfur-containing fuel is burned to power the ships. It can harm health and has important environmental impact. Using the algorithm developed by my team, we can

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