Speed profiles for improvement of maritime emission estimation

Pui Shan Yau, Shuncheng Lee, Kin Fai Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Maritime emissions play an important role in anthropogenic emissions, particularly for cities with busy ports such as Hong Kong. Ship emissions are strongly dependent on vessel speed, and thus accurate vessel speed is essential for maritime emission studies. In this study, we determined minute-by-minute high-resolution speed profiles of container ships on four major routes in Hong Kong waters using Automatic Identification System (AIS). The activity-based ship emissions of NOx, CO, HC, CO2, SO2, and PM10were estimated using derived vessel speed profiles, and results were compared with those using the speed limits of control zones. Estimation using speed limits resulted in up to twofold overestimation of ship emissions. Compared with emissions estimated using the speed limits of control zones, emissions estimated using vessel speed profiles could provide results with up to 88% higher accuracy. Uncertainty analysis and sensitivity analysis of the model demonstrated the significance of improvement of vessel speed resolution. From spatial analysis, it is revealed that SO2and PM10emissions during maneuvering within 1 nautical mile from port were the highest. They contributed 7%-22% of SO2emissions and 8%-17% of PM10emissions of the entire voyage in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1076-1084
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Engineering Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • container ship
  • Hong Kong
  • ship emissions
  • vessel speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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