UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has become the first company in the world to introduce a refrigerated delivery lorry cooled by a liquid nitrogen-powered engine.
The technology, which is being deployed during a three-month trial, is expected to eliminate emissions associated with refrigeration.
Developed by UK firm Dearman Engine, the cooling unit replaces the traditional diesel engine used to chill the vehicle.
Based on technology invented by self-taught UK engineer Peter Dearman, the Dearman engine harnesses the rapid expansion of liquid nitrogen to deliver zero-emission power and cooling.
Traditionally many refrigerated lorries 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.
During the trial the technology is expected to help cut 1.6 tonnes of CO2 37kg of nitrogen oxides and 2kg of particulate matter. The lorry will operate from Sainsbury’s Waltham Point depot in northeast London, delivering chilled goods to stores in the London area.
The Dearman engine is the basis for a suite of zero-emission power and cooling technologies being developed by the company, which have applications across transport and the built environment. Dearman has received significant inward investment, and the company is growing rapidly, with more than 70 employees.