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Refrigeration has revolutionised the global food supply chain, making large numbers of goods available to consumers worldwide and reducing food waste (although at some 35-40% of all food produced it is still staggeringly high), but it has also led to an alarming increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Current estimates put cooling systems, including those used for air conditioning, as responsible for around 15% of global electricity use. There is, thus, an urgent need for more environmentally efficient cold chain technologies.

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