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UK: Sainsbury’s has become the first company in the world to introduce a refrigerated delivery truck cooled by a liquid-nitrogen-powered engine.

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 the three-month trial the vehicle is predicted to save up to 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 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.

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Commenting on the announcement 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.”

“Demand for cooling is increasing worldwide and new technologies are urgently needed to ensure that growth can be achieved sustainably,” said Dearman’s founder and CEO Toby Peters. “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 their respect for the environment.”

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The trial is the latest in a series of innovations from Sainsbury’s as the retailer works towards its commitment to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 30% between 2005 and 2020. Following a trial in 2013, it became the first company in the world to use CO2 and has now taken on three trucks with cooling fueled by this method.

Earlier this year the retailer introduced the lower GWP refrigerant R452A  as an alternative to R404A in its transport.

The development and deployment of Dearman’s liquid nitrogen technology has been made possible through its partnerships with Hubbard Products, Dawsonrentals and Air Products.

Hubbard Products CEO, Pat Maughan, said: “Our reputation and expertise for developing low-­‐energy products with a commercial edge, sees us being involved in more and more innovative refrigeration projects. This is just another step in Hubbard’s history of refrigeration development that will benefit the consumer at large, as well as our retail customers.”

Related stories:

Dawsonrentals joins Dearman development

Dearman extends liquid air deal with Hubbard

Sainsbury’s trials R452A refrigerant