The world’s first refrigerated delivery truck cooled by a liquid nitrogen-powered engine is being trialled by UK supermarket Sainsbury’s.
Using Air Products’ cryogenic expertise, liquid nitrogen and refuelling infrastructure, the zero-emission cooling unit replaces the traditional diesel engine used to chill the vehicle, and will significantly cut emissions, Air Products said.
The new refrigerant system harnesses the rapid expansion of liquid nitrogen to deliver zero-emission power and cooling. The system eliminates all emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, significantly reducing overall emissions for the vehicle.
It is expected that the vehicle will save up to 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide on diesel systems during the three-month trial – the equivalent of driving 14,500km in a modern family car – as well as 37kg of nitrogen oxides and 2kg of particulate matter. The truck will operate from Sainsbury’s depot in Waltham Abbey, Essex, delivering chilled goods to stores around London.
Jon Trembley, Air Products’ cryogenic technology manager – EMEA, said: “The global demand for sustainable performance which improves energy efficiency and emissions whilst addressing social needs is very real. Strong partnerships that enable customers to grow responsibly through environmentally focussed opportunities are critical; this project is a living example of what can be achieved through creative, expert thinking.”
The new system is based on The Dearman Engine, a “revolutionary” invention by London-based Dearman.
Dearman founder and CEO Toby Peters added: “Demand for cooling is increasing worldwide and new technologies are urgently needed to ensure that growth can be achieved sustainably. The Dearman system is one such technology, and alongside our partners, we’re proud to be debuting it with Sainsbury’s, a company renowned for its respect for the environment.”
This trial is the latest in a series of innovations from Sainsbury’s to help reduce carbon emissions. In another first, the company has worked with Air Products again to bring cleaner, greener fuel to its customers in London through the installation of the UK’s first supermarket forecourt hydrogen dispenser for fuelling cars. Sainsbury’s has also become the first company in the world to use carbon dioxide as a natural refrigerant and has now taken on three trucks with cooling fuelled by this method.
Earlier in the year, the company announced that all of its new refrigerators would run on the recognised cleaner cooling agent R-452A, helping reduce emissions by 45% compared to the more commonly used R404A.
Paul Crewe, head of sustainability for Sainsbury’s, said: “With ambitious commitments outlined in our Sustainability Plan, Sainsbury’s has a reputation of being an early adopter of sustainable technology. Dearman’s zero-emission system is really exciting, to be running a liquid air engine quite literally means our cooling is running on thin air!”
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