By Patrick Di JustoPosted 07.16.2012 at 5:31 pm 13 Comments
Twenty years ago, Mitchell Joseph set out to solve one of the great challenges of the modern age: how to make a can of beer that could cool itself. He designed a can that used and released the coolant HFC-134a. His prototype worked—it cooled liquid dramatically in a matter of minutes—but there was a hitch. HFC-134a is a greenhouse gas 1,400 times as potent as carbon dioxide. Popping one of Joseph's cans was the environmental equivalent of driving 500 miles, and it was illegal under EPA regulations. Suffice it to say, his original design never made it into production. This year, Joseph introduced the ChillCan, a completely legal self-chilling can that reduces a drink's temperature by 30ºF in three minutes.
The sun makes an excellent coffee roaster, it turns out
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 04.27.2011 at 10:11 am 0 Comments
In 2004, artist Dave Hartkop was looking for a way to move out of his parents’ house. Pairing his interest in alternative energy with his brother Mike’s passion for coffee, he decided to start an online coffee business, and designed a huge solar-powered roasting system to supply it. Now the brothers are on their fourth, and by far largest, version of the roaster. Dubbed Helios 4, it’s made up of more than 600 mirrors and has a 35-foot-by-35-foot footprint.
Your beer can tell you where you've been, according to a new study by researchers in Utah. No, not because of the strength of your hangover -- it's all about chemistry.
Beer, bottled water and soda have a natural chemical signature related to geographic location, and drinking them leaves a chemical fingerprint in your hair. The fingerprint could be used to track your travels over time, according to the study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
We've all experienced the fluid-dynamics phenomenon known as the "teapot effect." Every time you pour out a nice relaxing cup of tea, a little of the elixir dribbles down the outside of the spout of the teapot, dampening your doily and your spirits.
It happens because liquid clings to the lip of the spout instead of exiting neatly, especially at low rates of flow.
Cyril Duez and his team of fluid dynamicists could not tolerate one more dribble. They have identified the root cause, a "hydro-capillary effect" that makes the tea fail to leave the spout material gracefully. Two techniques can be used to combat this.
Our FYI experts answer the science questions that haunt you
By Matthew CokeleyPosted 07.30.2008 at 12:49 pm 4 Comments
Will drinking carbonated beverages weaken my bones?
Maybe—but only if you're drinking several gallons of seltzer a day. Here's the chemistry that has soda drinkers worried: As carbon dioxide hits the water in your blood, it turns into carbonic acid. Too much acid in the blood can lead to a condition called acidosis, which could intercept small amounts of calcium from food as it makes its way to your bones, or steal it from them directly. Your greater concern, though, says endocrinologist Robert Heaney of Creighton University, should be the vomiting, headaches and impaired organ function that result from extreme acidosis.