Pollutant emissions from ships
Projet ADEME
Start: 2022
End: 2024

Despite the introduction of limits on the sulfur content of marine fuels, the contribution of maritime transport to PM 2.5 emissions is estimated to have increased by 45% in the Mediterranean Sea over the period 2006 to 2020. To limit the environmental and health impact of maritime traffic, the International Maritime Organization has imposed regulations to limit polluting emissions, in particular by defining sulphur emission control zones (SECA zone), aiming to target this reduction in port areas, and in areas where maritime traffic is dense near the coastal edges. But particulate and gazeous emissions of ships remain a major health and environmental issue.

While the pollutant emissions of road vehicles are now well controlled, this is not the case in the maritime world, with many different fuels, engine types and regulations depending on the navigation areas. The EMINAV project aims to evaluate, in the most complete way possible, the gaseous and particulate pollutant emissions related to maritime transport, for two types of engines and in conditions of use. This project will reinforce a project entitled CAPNAV already undertaken by the consortium on the characterization of fine particle emissions from engines. The simultaneous measurement campaigns carried out in CAPNAV and EMINAV will make it possible to sample gases at emission and to analyze simultaneously these polluting emissions, both gaseous and particulate. Two types of engines will be analysed, the classical marine diesel engines without pollution control system, and the LNG engines which equip the first Brittany Ferries ship of this type.


The EMINAV project reinforces the ongoing CAPNAV project on the characterization of fine particles emitted by maritime transport, both on conventional diesel propulsion and on an LNG engine that reduces emissions of fine particles, SOx, NOx and CO2, but which may emit unburnt methane into the atmosphere, a powerful greenhouse gas. The EMINAV project aims to extend the analysis of atmospheric emissions to all pollutants. This project will allow to deepen the knowledge on the nature and concentration of gaseous and particulate pollutants emitted by maritime transport, with in particular, a quantification of gaseous pollutants emissions (NOx, SOx, CO and methane for LNG motorization) and of BTEX and PAH type.

Dispositif sur pont

Expected outcomes

The main results/outcomes expected are:

  • The definition of a validated experimental methodology for the measurement of gaseous emissions in use
  • A contribution to the calculation of emission factors used in the inventories thanks to the dynamic measurement approach, which will allow access to an emission zoning
  • Recommendations for seafarers on the impact of use on emissions, which could also be used to help design future ships that are more environmentally friendly in terms of emissions
  • Strategic guidance by quantifying the actual gains in terms of gaseous pollutant and fine particle emissions, with two very different solutions: a breakthrough solution in the form of LNG, and a treatment solution to improve performance, using additives.

Next steps

The next steps are to consolidate the results obtained on the boat operating with a conventional engine and with an additive solution via the realization of next measurement campaigns on the Fromveur 2 of Penn Ar Bed. Then a first measurement campaign will be carried out in autumn 2022 on the Brittany Ferries boat Salamanca operating with LNG propulsion.

School role

The role of IMT Atlantique in the EMINAV project is to characterize the volatile or semi-volatile organic compounds (PAH) emitted. Part of the VOCs contained in the flue gas is already measured in the CAPNAV project: these are the heaviest organic compounds adsorbed and then condensed on the surface of the particles such as trimethylbenzene. In the EMINAV project, the share of the lightest non-condensed VOCs will be measured, such as benzene and toluene, which will be sampled and/or analyzed in the gas phase by two means: a direct analysis through the use of a micro-GC bay and an indirect analysis which will be done by active sampling on adsorbent cartridges and then analysis in the laboratory via a GC-MS.


Seven partners are part of the consortium:

  • Three engineering schools and associated research laboratories: ESTACA which is the technical and administrative coordinator of the project and is in charge of the characterization of particle emissions, IMT Atlantique and ENSM.
  • Two shipowners: Penn Ar Bed and Brittany Ferries, which provide ships for the experimental campaigns
  • A shipbuilder: Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique (not financed) which brings its expertise in the sector
  • An innovator: BEE Distribution, which is proposing one of the technical solutions tested to reduce pollutant emissions using an additive solution added to the fuel

Logos partenaires Eminav



From the Energy Systems and Environment Department (DSEE) : Aurélie Joubert

Project holder: Benoit Sagot d'ESTACA


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Sustainable Development Goals

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