The natural refrigerant set to reduce supermarket energy use
The Guardian, March 4, 2015
A new waste product derived from sugar beet could help cut supermarket energy consumption from refrigeration
Could the sugar you have in your morning coffee help prevent global warming?
Sainsbury’s thinks the answer is yes and is putting the question to the test in its Portishead store in Somerset, where it is using a refrigerant derived from waste sugar beet in its fridges and freezers.
Not only does the CO2-based refrigerant, called eCO2, have a global warming potential of one – 3,922 times less than R404A, the refrigerant most commonly used by supermarkets – it is also derived from a more sustainable source than other CO2-based refrigerants, which are often derived from hydrocarbons or ammonia.
Paul Crewe, head of sustainability for Sainsbury’s said he was interested in eCO2 when he found out that British Sugar, Sainsbury’s main sugar supplier, derives the CO2 for the refrigerant from waste sugar beet in its refinery in Norfolk.
One of the things we are very keen on is real life examples of circular economy, putting every single product in our supply chain to good use. This is an opportunity for CO2 from a product that goes into Sainsbury’s [sugar] being deployed into one of our refrigerant systems to prove that it does the same job as other derived sources of CO2, said Crewe.