Marks & Spencer trials liquid nitrogen deliveries to slash emissions
British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) will trial a zero emissions liquid-nitrogen refrigeration truck for its chilled grocery deliveries, with a view to a nationwide rollout.
The ‘clean cold’ transport refrigeration unit (TRU), designed by clean cold technology firm Dearman, is zero emission in theory and produces up to 95% less CO2 emissions than traditional diesel-powered models.
M&S will test the unit, which replaces the secondary diesel engine with a liquid nitrogen variant, to examine the impact it has on emissions. Depending on the results, a nationwide rollout could commence to assist M&S’s goal to cut its CO2 emissions by 80% by 2025 and 90% by 2035.
“Our latest sustainability plan is ambitious and includes bold new science-based target to further improve the efficiency of our operations,” M&S’s fleet engineerAnthony Whitehouse, said. “Our chilled delivery trucks have a role to play in that and we believe Dearman’s transport refrigeration unit could help us meet our emissions targets.”
Based at the company’s Hemel Hempstead depot, the dual-compartment TRU will use liquid nitrogen to generate both electrical power and further cooling.
The device works by pumping liquid nitrogen through a heat exchanger inside the truck, where it acts like a heat sink, cooling the compartment down. The nitrogen is then fed into engine where it mixes with warm water and expands rapidly, generating power used to drive a conventional refrigeration cycle.
Dearman’s TRUs have been used in the UK by Sainsbury’s – as part of an aspiration to become the first company in the world to incorporate "closed-loop" natural refrigerant trailer units for its delivery vehicles.
Unilever has also been trialling Dearman technology. Last week, the company released the findings of six-month trial in the Netherlands, which used a refrigeration truck powered by liquid nitrogen to collect and deliver Ben & Jerry’s and Ola ice cream across the Netherlands.
The Dearman model travelled more than 18,000km during the trials, spending 661 hours on the road. The vehicle reduced carbon emissions by 600kg per month compared to a conventional diesel system and eliminated all nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions – which delivered a positive impact on local air quality.
“Marks & Spencer is a trusted brand for the quality of its products and the company is clearly ambitious on the sustainability agenda,” Dearman's chief executive Scott Mac Meekin added. “It wants to go much further in cutting the carbon dioxide emissions of its chilled deliveries and a Dearman transport refrigeration unit is uniquely placed to achieve that goal.”
M&S at edie Live
M&S’s energy manager Rustin Cooper will be appearing at edie Live to discuss how the company is tapping into demand response to future-proof its energy consumption.
Running between 22–23 May 2018, edie Live plans to show delegates how they can achieve their Mission Possible. Through the lens of energy, resources, the built environment, mobility and business leadership an array of expert speakers will be on hand to inspire delegates to achieve a sustainable future.
For more information and to register for edie Live 2018, click here.