Environment Assessment Research Group

 


The Environment Assessment Research Group is working to solve environmental problems such as air and ocean pollution caused by ship activities. We are working on the prediction of environmental pollution by ships, clarification of the phenomena, and establishment of environmental impact assessment methods. In addition, based on the results of these studies, we provides technical advice and back data when Japanese Goverment makes environmental policies and makes proposals to the International Maritime Organization Marine Environment Protection Committee (IMO/MEPC).

 

 

  

Research Subjects

 

1.  Development of environmental impact assessment methodology for air pollution caused by ship emissions

Sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), etc. in the exhaust gas from the main engines of ships not only degrade air quality, but also cause serious health problems such as asthma.
Through the development of an air pollutant emission analysis system using AIS (Ship Position Information System) and the execution of air quality simulation calculations using CMAQ, our research group estimates the emission of above air pollutants from moored and navigating ships, and we evaluate how much the ship is affecting the overall air pollution.
Furthermore, based on these studies, we are working on methods for assessing the effectiveness of environmental measures targeting ship exhaust gas, and development of air quality control indicators that can be introduced practically and are scientifically rational.

 
 


 
2.  Research on the prevention of marine pollution caused by discharges and spills of oil and hazardous liquid substances from ships

When a tanker or other vessel collides with or runs aground in a maritime accident and spills cargo or fuel oil, it is important to collect and treat the spilled oil before it drifts to the shore or spreads to distant locations, by using oil fences, oil recovery equipment, or spraying oil treatment chemicals to minimize the damage to the ocean.
Our research group is conducting basic research to efficiently apply oil treatment agents for oil spills in the sea water through mock laboratory experiments. Specifically, we aim to efficiently disperse oil treatment agents in the sea water. In addition, we are conducting research and development of oil fences and other products with high oil recovery performance under severe sea conditions such as rough weather.
Furthermore, in order to prevent oil spills from the fuel tanks of grounded ships to the ocean, we are conducting development of a method for efficiently draining oil with low fluidity at low temperatures from the fuel tanks of grounded ships at marine accident sites.


 


 
3.  Research for preventing transboundary aquatic organism migration with ship bottom antifouling paints

In recent years, transboundary aquatic organisms have migrated on a global scale by being included in the ballast water of ships and adhering to the surface of hulls. This "ecosystem disturbance" has been highlighted as an environmental issue.
In cooperation with the Environmental Analysis Research Group, we are conducting laboratory tests and actual sea area tests using antifouling paints that have the function of gradually elution when applied to the hull and of preventing the adhesion of organisms. We aim to establish a method for assessing transboundary migration risk due to aquatic organisms attached to ships.