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Extracting pollution data in extreme maritime conditions, to keep the air we breathe cleaner

  • Environmental
  • Absorbance
ship with smoke stacks

Ocean Insight and Danfoss IXA teamed up to build monitoring solutions that enable real-time maritime emissions treatment


At any given moment 100,000 transport ships are at sea. The movement of goods across our oceans accounts for almost 20% of conventional pollutant emissions. That number is growing rapidly as the transoceanic distribution of goods has increased by at least 4% year over year since the 1990s.

As governments and international regulators look to tackle the health risks of air pollution, offshore sources are the increasingly scrutinized elephant in the room.

Maritime shipping customers are seeking expertise and technological solutions to monitor and reduce emissions and optimize energy usage within an increasingly complex regulatory framework.

large container ship


Prior spectroscopic methods for exhaust emission analysis required taking samples from the stack for remote analysis. Mass spectroscopy can be a slow technique to carry out, and may not respond as quickly as changes that occur in the exhaust emission spectral output. Even small savings in time and improvements can make enormous differences to emission controls and energy optimization. With today’s modern optical spectroscopy devices, we believed we could engineer monitoring systems that functioned directly in the stack to measure the gases in situ.

The need for timely and reliable data is growing in the maritime industry. This is driven by a desire to facilitate and accelerate continual improvement in efficiency, cost savings, environmental improvement and regulatory realities.

Finn Haugaard - Danfoss IXA



DOAS is a method used to determine trace gas concentrations, by transmitting UV or visible light through an open path or fiber probe and measuring the unique absorption characteristics of each gas. A spectrometer measures the amount of light absorbed by the exhaust gas as it passes through a UV light beam.

differential absorption spectroscopy


Ocean Insight partnered with Danish-based Danfoss IXA to develop extremely robust sensor systems for the maritime environment. We customized the spectrometer assembly to withstand the high temperatures and vibration conditions experienced on cargo ships and in exhaust stacks. 

The Marine Emission Sensor created by Danfoss IXA leverages Ocean Insight UV absorption spectroscopy. UV light is directed into the gas and the spectrometer measures the amount of light absorbed by the gas. The sensor’s computer contains a digital library with the “fingerprints” of the supported gasses, allowing precise reporting of concentrations of each gas.  

The Marine Emission Sensor continuously measures NO, NO2 (NOx), SO2 and NH3 indirectly (in situ) in the exhaust system. The sensor enables ship owners to comply with local and international emission regulations.

Beyond measurement and reporting, the Ocean Insight-Danfoss IXA collaboration is integral to automated dynamic engine control and emissions treatment systems like scrubbers and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) setups.

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What we achieved is reliable, close to real-time data, at a very attractive cost of ownership.

Finn Haugaard - Danfoss IXA

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