Danish waters patrolled by sulphur-sniffing drone

Sulphur-sniffer drone. Credit: Danish Maritime Authority

Over the next few months, a large drone will be checking emissions emitting from ships in the waters of Denmark to make sure they are complying with sulphur emission limits.

The European Maritime Safety Agency is providing the drone and it has been fitted with a sniffer device capable of measuring the sulphur emissions. By entering the ship’s exhaust gas plume, the drone can register the levels of sulphur in the fuel.

The data gathered will be made immediately available to the Danish authorities, who can then follow-up with the ship if the vessel’s fuel does not comply with the requirements.
The project will lay the groundwork for more efficient enforcement of the upcoming IMO 2020 sulphur regulation, and, in turn, ensure fair competition for shipping companies and less pollution from ships, commented the Danish Maritime Authority.

The operating area of the drone will be in north of The Great Belt, a strait situated between the major islands of Zealand and Funan in Denmark, where large tankers usually sail to and from the Baltic Sea.