JULY 17, 2023, Halifax, Nova Scotia – The Halifax Port Authority (HPA) is collaborating with environmental gas monitoring company, Eosense, and researchers at Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s University to better understand the carbon footprint of vessels in the Port of Halifax. With components based out of the PIER (Port Innovation Engagement and Research), the research will establish baseline GHG conditions and monitor the impact of new fuels on marine sector GHG emissions including hydrogen and derivatives like methanol and ammonia.

“Partnering on this research will support the HPA’s goal of becoming a global leader in operating a green port,” says, Dr. Sherry Scully, Director of Workforce Development, The PIER. The PIER’s living lab function is demonstrating how research can lead to innovative technologies that can help us address complex challenges like decarbonization, while also fostering a multidisciplinary training environment for students.  A lab doesn’t get more living than that.”

The research project involves deploying air and water sampling systems between opposite shores of the Halifax Harbour and in the Bedford Basin. The measurements will support monitoring of ship emissions of greenhouse gases, including nitrous oxide (N2O), and allow them to be distinguished from emissions due to blooms of microbes which occur sporadically in the Harbour waters.

“Coastal waters are of great relevance to study because they emit N2O to the atmosphere due to marine microbial activity that is both natural and human-caused (mainly from agricultural nutrient runoff, but also from increasing temperatures and decreasing ocean oxygen content),” said Dr. Aldona Wiacek, Associate Professor, Saint Mary’s University. “In order to separate the GHG emission effects of regular port activities from natural processes, an integrated measurement approach is needed that targets the atmosphere, the harbour waters, and the interface between the two.”

The three-year project is funded by a National Science Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Alliance Missions grant – funding specifically aimed at addressing issues related to climate change. This research will play a critical role in the HPA’s ongoing efforts to fight climate change and protect the environment by taking action to reduce GHG emissions while strengthening the economy with sustainable jobs and clean industrial growth.

Project partners include Dr. Aldona Wiacek, Saint Mary’s University (Atmospheric Science), Dr. Douglas Wallace, Dalhousie University (Oceanography), Dr. Julie LaRoche, Dalhousie University (Marine Microbial Ecology), industry partner Eosense Inc. plus many post-secondary students, interns and industry researchers.

Further project information is available here: www.ap.smu.ca/~awiacek/research_Alliance.html


About the Port of Halifax

The Port of Halifax is Canada’s Ultra Atlantic Gateway, connecting to more than 150 countries. In 2022, the total impact of the Port of Halifax on the Province of Nova Scotia was $4.87 billion in economic output with the direct portion being $3 billion. This level of activity generated direct and spin-off positive impacts of $2.5 billion in GDP, $1.6 billion in labour income and over 25,300 jobs.

Offering a natural, deep harbour and big ship infrastructure, Halifax can accommodate large volumes of containerized cargo, bulk cargo, and project cargo. Collaborating and working with strong partners and stakeholders, the Port community in Halifax continues to deliver excellence.

About Eosense Inc.

Eosense is a Canadian company helping industry and academia measure and visualize greenhouse gases to better manage climate change impacts. Eosense designs and builds weatherproof gas monitoring devices for soil gas flux research. Eosense is dedicated to equipping research and industry with accurate, go-anywhere tools.




Media Contacts

Aldona Wiacek
Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Saint Mary’s University
(902) 491-6481
[email protected]

Danielle Boudreau
Communications Officer, Faculty of Science, Saint Mary’s University
(902) 420-5526
[email protected]

Nick Nickerson
President, Eosense Inc.
(902) 441-0888
[email protected]

Alison Auld
Senior Research Reporter, Communications, Marketing and Creative Services, Dalhousie University
(902) 220-0491
[email protected]

Emma Ross
Communications & Programming Coordinator, The PIER
(902) 210-3965
[email protected]