Refrigeration vehicles emit up to 29 times more potentially carcinogenic particulate matter than a modern Euro 6 diesel truck engine, according to a report from clean cold technology firm Dearman.
Primarily diesel powered, and unregulated, transport refrigeration units, of which there are 84,000 on UK roads, emit up to 49,125 tonnes of CO2, 163 tonnes of NOx and 22 tonnes of particulate matter onto London streets every year.
According to Dearman, legislating for units in London to be made zero emission would save the same amount of particulate matter as taking 327,510 diesel cars off the city’s streets.
Dr Tim Fox, international ambassador at Dearman, said: “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.”
Dearman is currently developing a piston engine that harnesses liquid nitrogen to produce zero-emission power and cooling for a range of applications, including transportation, buildings and food distribution.
“In addition to continued investment to make diesel cars and trucks less polluting, we could make a sizeable impact on both NOx and particulate matter pollution by bringing transport refrigeration units up to modern emissions standards – or even better making them zero emission,” said Fox. “That small change could have a very big impact.”