Scientists at the University of Birmingham have worked with a Chinese company to develop the world’s first shipping container that stores and releases cold energy.
The Chinese and British scientists have essentially developed a refrigerated container that is easier and more efficient to use than traditional equipment.
Professor Yulong Ding, Director of Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage, said:“We have developed a productive collaboration with CRRC Shijiazhuang and this innovative technology marks the beginning of developing an efficient and economic rail & road freight cold chain.
“We are proud to contribute to the development of safe and clean low carbon energy technologies in China and beyond, which will ultimately help us to reduce the energy burden on our planet and tackle climate change.”
Once the device has been charged the cooling material inside the container can keep temperatures between 5-12 degrees for up to 120 hours.
The technology has drawn the interest of several cold-chain logistics companies in China. It provides a more stable temperature which leads to higher quality goods once it reaches its destination.
The University of Birmingham says that the cold chain, as well as shipping and aviation, are significant causes of pollution so finding cooling solutions are essential.
“Without ambitious intervention, research shows that energy demand from cooling could increase five-fold by 2050, putting increased pressure on global energy resources,” said Professor Ding.
“How the world meets its demand for cooling could have a major impact on climate change and air pollution.”
The University of Birmingham has had strong links to China for over 100 years which is reflected in the China Institute that runs through the university.
It was the first Russell Group university in the country to accept the GAOKAO examination as a form of results for incoming students. Birmingham receives a lot of international students every year, particularly from China, so making it more accessible will encourage more students to choose the University of Birmingham.