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Source Apportionment of Air Pollution in the Dublin Port Area


Ship emissions contain sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter (PM) that impact on human health and the environment. Transport and other activities in Ports can also contribute to emissions that affect air quality. 

The overall aim of the PortAIR project is to determine the impact of shipping emissions and other port activities on air quality in Dublin and provide policy recommendations and mitigation options for reducing pollution.

This goal will be achieved through a combined measurement-analysis approach involving;

(i) continuous year-long monitoring of the chemical composition of PM in real-time;

(ii) a multi-instrument intensive field campaign conducted during the height of shipping activity;

(iii) detailed source apportionment models providing robust quantitative estimates of the impact of shipping emissions and other major pollution sources on Dublin air quality.

The results will deliver new and valuable information on the influence of the various port-based activities on air quality in Dublin city. They will also provide Dublin Port Company and other stakeholders (Dublin City Council and EPA) with a sound scientific basis for developing an air quality action plan for the Dublin Port area.

An air quality action plan involving strategies to reduce pollution from every source (ships, cargo-handling equipment, harbour craft, HGVs and road vehicles etc.) would provide valuable support for implementation of the MARPOL convention (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from ships) and the proposed National Clean Air Strategy.

Furthermore, this research would also inform the deployment of permanent monitoring equipment in the Dublin Port area in order to measure the impact of the mitigation measures on air quality.

Project Team

PortAIR is a collaborative research project involving the Centre for the Research into Atmospheric Chemistry (CRAC) in UCC and the Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) in NUIG.

  • Project Co-ordinator – Prof John Wenger (UCC).
  • Co-Principal Investigators – Dr Stig Hellebust (UCC), Dr Jurgita Ovadnevaite (NUIG), Prof Colin O’Dowd (NUIG).
  • Post-Doctoral Researchers – Dr Kirsten N. Fossum (NUIG), Dr Srishti Jain (UCC).

Funding Details

This research project is funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Research Programme 2014-2020.

  • Project Title: Source Apportionment of Air Pollution in the Dublin Port Area
  • Grant Number: 2020-CCRP-LS.6
  • Start date: 01/03/2021
  • End date: 29/02/2024
  • Budget: €499,961.97


Kostas Eleftheriadis
Environmental Radioactivity Laboratory
Institute of Nuclear and Radiological Science & Technology, Energy & Safety N.C.S.R. "Demokritos"
15341 Ag. Paraskevi,
Attiki, Greece.

Project News

Date News Title
10/09/2021 Kick Off Meeting and Official launch of the PortAIR study.
13/10/2021 Project team visit to Dublin Port to investigate potential locations for the year-long monitoring site.
01/12/2021 Setting up equipment at the monitoring site.



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Publicity and Outreach

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Follow the project on Twitter by checking the #PortAIR feed.

Project Photos

Photos of our instrumentation set up at Dublin Port.

Centre for Research into Atmospheric Chemistry

Ionad Taighde Um Ceimice Atmaisféarach

Lab B1, Kane Building, University College Cork, T12 YN60.