Ta-Kang Liu , Yung-Sheng Chen, Yen-Tin Chen

Institute of Ocean Technology and Marine Affairs, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan

Received: July 20, 2019
Revised: September 16, 2019
Accepted: September 17, 2019
Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.07.0355  

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Cite this article:
Liu, T.K., Chen, Y.S. and Chen, Y.T. (2019). Utilization of Vessel Automatic Identification System (AIS) to Estimate the Emission of Air Pollutant from Merchant Vessels in the Port of Kaohsiung. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 2341-2351. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.07.0355


  • First study using AIS to estimate vessel-source air pollution in Taiwan.
  • Among various ship state, vessels emits more pollutants during hotelling.
  • Emissions of SO2 and NOx from vessels are 43% and 23% of the land-based source.
  • Market-based tools are recommended for the mitigation of vessel air pollution.


Vessel-source air pollution may have a major impact on human health and the marine environment. In this study, a method based on vessel activity intensity was adopted to estimate the emission of air pollutants generated by the consumption of fuel oils from merchant vessels in the Port of Kaohsiung. The vessel activities were determined by using the vessel automatic identification system (AIS) to track vessel traffic and position and to calculate the corresponding emission of air pollutants. It was found that container ships, bulk carriers, and oil tankers, emitted approximately 90% of the total air pollutants. The emissions of SO2 and NOx accounted for 43% and 23%, respectively, when compared to the land-based source emission from the city of Kaohsiung. Management strategies were explored that market-based tools are recommended for the mitigation of vessel-source air pollution along with mandatory utilization of low sulfur fuels.

Keywords: Vessel activity; Sulfur dioxide; Vessel-source pollution; Automatic identification system (AIS); Low sulfur oil; Shore power facilities.


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