Sainsbury’s says it has become the first company in the world to introduce a refrigerated delivery truck cooled by a liquid nitrogen powered engine, which will eliminate all emissions associated with refrigeration.
Supplied by cooling technology specialists, Dearman, and its partners, the zero-emission cooling unit replaces the traditional diesel engine used to chill the vehicle and will significantly cut emissions.
During a three-month trial the vehicle will save up to 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide; the equivalent of driving over 14,500km in a modern family car. The trial will also save 37kg of nitrogen oxides and 2kg of particulate matter, compared to a similar diesel system. The truck will operate from Sainsbury’s Waltham Point depot, delivering chilled goods to stores in the London area.
Based on the revolutionary British invention, the Dearman Engine, the new system harnesses the rapid expansion of liquid nitrogen to deliver zero-emission power and cooling. Traditionally many refrigerated trucks require two diesel engines, one to power the vehicle and one for the refrigeration unit. By replacing the latter, Dearman believes that a more sustainable solution for refrigeration may soon be widely adopted on Britain’s roads.
Paul Crewe, Head of Sustainability for Sainsbury’s, said: “As one of Britain’s biggest retailers we really recognise the importance of reducing emissions, which is why we’re working hard to cut carbon emissions by 30% between 2005 and 2020. This trial with Dearman is just one of the innovations we’ve introduced to help us towards this goal. Their zero-emission system is really exciting, to be running a liquid air engine quite literally means our cooling is running on thin air!”
In addition to being a cleaner method of refrigeration, the new engine has been designed with safety in mind. Unlike traditional fuels such as diesel, liquid nitrogen (LIN) is a non-flammable substance, which is used extensively in industry and food preparation and is transported safely on the UK’s road network. It has been provided, along with the refuelling infrastructure, by Air Products.
Assessment of the trial will be considered, along with operational costs, before any roll out of the technology.