sainsbury's dearman zero emission delivery truck

Sainsbury’s is trialling the world’s first delivery truck with a zero emissions refrigeration unit powered by liquid nitrogen.

The vehicle is undergoing a three-month test during which it is expected to save up to 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 37kg of nitrogen oxide and 2kg of particulates.

The liquid nitrogen unit replaces the traditional diesel engine used to provide refrigeration and has been supplied by cooling technology specialists Dearman, with the liquid nitrogen and refuelling infrastructure provided by Air Products.

The truck will operate from Sainsbury’s Altham Point depot to stores in the London area. Sainsbury’s said it would await the result of the trial and evaluation of the costs involved before deciding whether or not to adopt the technology across its vehicle fleet.

Sainsbury’s sustainability head, Paul Crewe, said it fully recognised the importance of reducing emissions and was working hard to cut carbon pollution by 30% from 2005 to 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!”

Refrigerated trucks traditionally require two diesel engines, one for the vehicle and one for the refrigeration unit. However, the Dearman engine removes the need for one by using the quick expansion of liquid nitrogen to deliver power and cooling for the refrigeration element. The company said liquid nitrogen was also safer than diesel as it was non-flammable.

Dearman founder and CEO Toby Peters said Sainsbury’s was leading the way by embracing its “cutting-edge” British engineering to delivered performance and positive environmental impact.

“The first commercial deployment of Dearman’s zero-emission transport refrigeration system is a significant milestone for the company, for our technology and for our vision to make the world a cleaner, cooler place.

“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 their respect for the environment.”

This latest development follows another trial in 2013 in which Sainsbury’s became the first company in the world to use CO2 as a natural refrigerant and it is now using it in three vehicles. Similarly, earlier this year it introduced R-452A as a cooling agent in its vehicles and announced that all new fridges would run on R-452A, which was recognised as a cleaner cooling agent than the more commonly used R404A, while helping to reduce emissions by 45%.