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Maritime transport moves around 90% of the goods the world economy needs. The cruise sector moves approximately 30 million people annually (2019 data).
Both activities are major economic drivers. But ship traffic sometimes contributes to an increase in port related air emissions. And as we already mentioned in our article on air quality in seaports, these gases can cause discomfort and health problems for the inhabitants closest to the ports and the personnel working in the port facilities.
The solution that we at Kunak propose to address this issue is the real time air quality monitoring in maritime ports, measuring it continuously. An option that has recently earned us international recognition.
Real time air quality monitoring in maritime ports, an award-winning solution
In October 2022, we attended the Air Quality & Emissions Show (AQE) in Telford, UK. It is one of the most important events around the world of air quality and industrial emissions in the calendar of events.
But it is also a stage that Kunak wants to take advantage of to position itself in the UK market, as Edurne Ibarrola, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Kunak, says.
«Well, AQE gives you the chance to learn about the UK market, which is quite difficult when you’re based abroad in another country; such as Spain, which is where Kunak is based.». Edurne Ibarrola, Chief Scientific Officer at Kunak
The novelty with respect to other editions in which we have participated was the presentation of our candidacy for the AQE’s Smart Network Monitoring award. The project chosen to show the excellence of the technology offered by Kunak was the air quality monitoring system that we have been developing for several years for Ports de Balears (APB), the port authority of the Balearic Islands.
And yes, we won. The real time air quality monitoring in maritime ports with which we competed was selected as the “Best air quality network monitoring award”.
It is a recognition that only affirms us in the path we have taken to improve air quality by using the most advanced, reliable and disruptive technology available to us, offering, among others, solutions for the prevention of air pollution from ships.
Real-time air quality monitoring is a task to which we are fully committed, not only in port infrastructures but also in urban, industrial and natural areas on all five continents.
«At Kunak, we are committed from the beginning to research and develop solutions based on the most innovative technology and the knowledge and professionalism of an outstanding team of people. These two aspects have allowed us to turn the accuracy and reliability of the data obtained into one of our hallmarks, a maxim that drives us every day to continuously improve our products and services. This award for the best real time air quality monitoring in maritime ports is nothing more than the outcome of the work we have been carrying out for 10 years» Javier Fernández Huerta, CEO of Kunak
What does this project to monitor air pollution in seaports consist of?
Spain’s seaports are an essential stop for thousands of ships, being the gateway for tonnes of goods that are then distributed throughout Europe.
And the ports of the Balearic Islands form part of this network of infrastructures and are particularly attractive for cruise ship tourism.
So, considering the effect that this traffic can cause on the atmosphere, in 2016 the Balearic Islands Port Authority began an ambitious project based on a real time air quality monitoring system. And one of the main milestones of this pioneering initiative was the installation in 2019 of several Kunak AIR stations.
25 Kunak AIR stations that make the difference
There are currently a total of 25 Kunak AIR Pro stations installed in the ports of Palma, Alcúdia, Eivissa, La Savina and Maó. They form a monitoring network that provides continuous port related air emissions indicators, triggering alerts on the visualisation platform when configured thresholds are exceeded.
What parameters do these stations measure?
- Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
- Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Ozone (O3)
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Particulate matter (PM10, PM4, PM2.5, PM1 and total particles)
Meteorological variables such as wind speed and direction and precipitation are also monitored, which are key to analysing the impact of emissions using dispersion models.
In addition, one of the vehicles in the APB fleet has a mobile device for measuring air quality in seaports, which allows in situ measurement during specific periods or events.
The project is completed with an advanced data analysis system, the deployment of consultation platforms and the integration of an air pollution monitoring control panel on the APB website.
The air quality measurement project in Balearic seaports is, in short, an initiative that has put the APB at the forefront of environmental protection.
And Kunak as a reference in real-time air quality monitoring solutions.