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Refrigerated transport: state of the art, technical issues, innovations and challenges for sustainability.


Type of article: Periodical article, Review


The cold chain is responsible for perishable products preservation and transportation, maintaining a proper temperature to slow biological decay processes. Often the efficiency of the cold chain is less than ideal, significantly increasing food waste and energy consumption. Refrigerated transport is a critical phase of the cold chain because of its negative impact on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that around 15% of global fossil fuel energy is used in the refrigerated transport sector, so there has been a growing interest in the last decades in the optimization of these systems in order to reduce their environmental impact. Vapor compression refrigeration units, usually powered by means of a diesel engine, are the most commonly used systems in road refrigerated transport. This paper provides a review of (a) currently used systems and alternative technologies that could reduce the environmental impacts of road refrigerated transport and (b) optimization models and methods used to minimize fuel/energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, focusing both on reducing the thermal loads and solving the refrigerated vehicle routing problem.

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Format PDF

Pages: 55