Transport refrigeration engines '29 times more polluting than diesel'
Keeping food and drink cool in transit could be generating almost 50,000 tonnes of CO2 a year in London alone, a cold-technology company has warned.
Dearmans - a company which has developed its own zero-emissions cooling technology - claims that transport refrigeration units are “disproportionately polluting”.
Dr Tim Fox, an ambassador at Dearman and a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers said: “Until now, nobody has given transport refrigeration units a thought.
"We all shop at food stores, eat in restaurants or have chilled food delivered, but the impact of transport refrigeration units has never been investigated, let alone addressed.
“Although refrigerated vehicles make up a small proportion of the vehicles on the road, they are unregulated, use out-dated fossil fuelled technology and are disproportionately polluting. What’s worse, that pollution is concentrated on city streets where it does the most damage to our health."
In a recent report, Dearmans argued that the unregulated units could emit up to 29 times more potentially carcinogenic particulate matter than a modern truck engine.
The company said that making all transport refrigeration units in London zero-emission would save the same amount of particulate matter as taking 327,510 diesel cars off the city’s streets.
London's air quality has been the subject of much debate, with air pollution in the capital now estimated to be causing the early deaths of more than 4,000 people a year.
Back in February, the Carbon Trust urged the Government to embrace the ‘cold economy’ – the burgeoning market for low-carbon cooling technologies.
The Carbon Trust estimated that the global demand for cooling could grow to three times the current UK electricity capacity by 2030, due to the world's expanding population and the growing middle class demographic in emerging markets.
In March’s budget, George Osborne set aside funding for the creation of an Advanced Cold Manufacturing Centre, which will focus on the industrialisation of clean cold technologies and its applications such as zero-emission transport refrigeration.