gGadget > Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Freezers Go Green
Earlier this year, Ben & Jerry’s launched a project to reduce the environmental impact of their ice cream freezers. The company’s new line of hydrocarbon ice cream display freezers use purified propane refrigerants that have virtually no carbon footprint. Currently, most freezers in the U.S. stay cool thanks to hydrofluorocarbon gases, which are considered greenhouse gases by the EPA.
Almost every freezer we use, including those in our homes, produces greenhouse gas emissions thanks to the use of hydrofluorocarbon gases. The hydrocarbon gases, or purified propane gases, used in Ben & Jerry’s freezers are not considered greenhouse gases, and they reduce the energy consumption of freezers by 10%.
Hydrocarbon freezers, which are often considered appealing because of their energy efficiency, have been used commercially in other countries for the last few years. These environmentally-friendly freezers are just beginning to be adopted in the U.S. Unfortunately, purified propane refrigerants do have a downside: they’re highly flammable. However, if a freezer is built properly, this doesn’t pose a problem. All new hydrocarbon freezers in the U.S. have to go through a process of being examined by Underwriters Laboratories and the EPA to rule out safety concerns before they can be used.
As of now, Ben & Jerry’s has plans of setting up hydrocarbon freezers for their ice cream in select locations. Once they get full approval from the EPA, they’ll be able to switch out all of their old freezers for the new, eco-friendly ones.