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 ChillCan contains a cylindrical chamber of high-pressure CO2 gas, which ends in a valve that extends through the base of the can and is capped by a button. When the user pushes the button, the valve opens and the CO2 rushes out of the bottom of the can and into the air. As the gas expands, it absorbs heat from the surrounding liquid, lowering the temperature. Along with his can, Joseph is launching an energy drink called West Coast Chill to put in it. The drink will be available this summer in Arizona, Nevada, Southern California and online, and in stores nationally by 2014. Hopefully, beer will be next.
Drink Volume: 10 ounces
Three More Ways to Beat the Heat
The Mini-Elefan is the only fan with a pulse mode that mimics a natural breeze. It blows at low speed for 10 seconds, high for five seconds, and then repeats the cycle. IDEA International Mini-Elefan $75
This 150-quart cooler keeps ice solid in 90º weather for 10 days, three days longer than a conventional one. Its two-inch-thick insulation and gaskets seal out heat. Igloo Yukon
Cold Locker $570
The Tempronics Office Chair is the first chair that can cool its user. Just beneath the fabric, semiconductor chips conduct heat away from the body when powered. Tempronics Temperfect Office Chair $1,100
Another First world problem solved! Now I need never worry about a frosty cold beverage again. Seriously, as nifty of an idea as that is, all that does is add more crap to the ever growing stream of debris floating out to the trash islands in the ocean. Now a cooler that keeps ice solid for days is a great way to cool a beer but at that price I think I'll just make an ice run every now and then.
Raise your hand if you thought the can read "puke energy"
In space, no one can hear a tree fall in the forest.
if you want to fix the problem then don't complain until it's taken care of, then the problem isn't fixed and it's merely resolved until it surfaces again. instead make it worthwhile to pursue the problem that needs fixed.
there's an old adage that may not pertain to specific people but certainly pertains to society as a whole, if it isn't broken then don't fix it. to some white collar music industry lobbyist the plastic island that's floating in the pacific is not a problem, more specifically it is not his problem. his problem is that he's drinking piss warm beer and sweating like a prostitute in a church because someone else had to be a butt muncher and mess up the environment. once again the phrase is "not my problem". now we have an entire nation of people like this who's only problem is dealing with the day to day lives and the problems there-in: 3 hour commute to job, stock market decided to crash, some liberal demonstration is slowing down traffic. these are problems for the average guy in an average area who doesn't give a crap about politics, the image that comes to mind is the head mechanic of the place that i bring my car to. they have their problems that they are dealing with, anything else is simply what he's decided to take on because he wants to be able to sleep at night or something. but again for the most part it's a severe case of not my problem mixed with somebody else should do this.
the trick here is to make it profitable to take care of your problem, 1st world countries do have a consumerism problem but that's the nature of capitalistic societies without the reigns of good sense, responsibility, and honor. if you want to fix the problem then either work with the mindset or change it. if you want people to stop being consumerist butt-holes then you should make it very cool and profitable to be responsible, honorable, and to have the good sense of when and when not to do something. luckily we are in an age where the next generation's form of rebellion will be listening to Beethoven while they do their homework after yelling at their parents because their parents told them to go to the dealer and get a dime bag. so it shouldn't be too hard to do this.
here's an idea, we get an oil derrick, we make it a sovereign state like that ocean land place in the Atlantic, we put a massive boiler on it with a gigantic steam powered generator. we anchor it in the middle of this huge pile of trash and burn it all to create energy that we then sell to china. America and it's liberals can suck it.
that would be something that a corporation could get behind because with good PR you could come out as the hero of the pacific with a gross domestic income higher than some 3rd world countries. it'd be a terrible tragedy for the air, but because it's a nation(sovereign state), that would have allies(china), nobody would be able to really do anything about it(I'm looking at you California). and the people doing it wouldn't care too much due to the moral of where this all started, it isn't a problem to them thus it isn't their problem.
to mars or bust!
as for the article it's a very nifty idea but isn't trying to use a co2 canister for this kinda inefficient? while the co2 is expanding it would take a very localized amount of heat away from the can of beer, after about 3 minutes you'd get 30 degree's cooler but couldn't you get the same efficiency using a smallish peltier cooler that hooks up to a collectable battery pack?
to mars or bust!
Ah, gulp gulp gulp....
@ghost... dude, you need a few more wraps of tinfoil around your helmet.
@PopSci Reader....or he needs a job.
Or flip a switch and re carbonate a flat beverage.
Oops, I should have patented that first.
I was thinking the same thing. Vent the compressed CO2 INTO the beverage. Cools and carbonates in one easy step.
BURP! or Pltzzz! Cool drink and sounds good too!;)
Must be harder to do than it appears to be. I saw this idea in a 50s or 60s issue of PopSci ( the original mag not the archives).
I assume that it's been unsuccessfully tried many times.
On ghosts idea of burning the trash in the ocean... I know of a film producer that wanted to make a documentary about the piles of trash in the ocean... its not a huge pile per se but many small piles evenly distributed. So they abandoned the film as there was little to actually film.
#2 why use a steam boiler! the are inefficient. HDPE is a great plastic to turn directly into syn gas and run directly into an engine. Very clean burning.
As to the CO2 re-carbonating the beverage you are cooling...
I wonder what the average cooling of a shaken can of beer is? and if you vented the C02 to chill the beverage what would be the result... is it a 'mentos' experiment x100? Perhaps that is why it is better to vent direct to ATM
And perhaps last, who the hell needs this idea anyway? It reminds me of that 'vortex bottle top'... or the 'is my beer cold indicator' (for people who cannot feel cold perhaps)? I guess there is some equation of marketing science that states that for any given period you will make x millions for x amount of novelty/time. Now that would make an interesting article.
Hey check it out I made a can that takes a hand print so I know which one is mine at a party... not.