Twenty Years ago Mitchell Joseph wanted a cold beer, but didn’t want to use ice to get it cold. He decided to set out to figure a way how to make a beer can that could chill itself.
His first can released the coolant HFC-134a, and while it worked, the problem he was up against was that HFC-134a is a well known greenhouse gas 1,300 times more dangerous than CO2. The amount of gas in one of his cans was doing the same amount of damage to the environment as driving 500 miles.
This year, however, Joseph got the can right. Using gases that are legal and don’t harm the environment he can chill a can by about 30°F in 3 minutes. The self chilling technology known as Microchill™ will be available in the company’s new drink, West Coast Chill, the first self chilling energy drink, later this summer on the west coast. It will be coming to the rest of us by 2014.
The ChillCan contains a chamber of high-pressure CO2 that extends through the can and is sealed by a button on the bottom of the can. When the button is pressed the CO2 expands quickly, rushing out of the bottom of the can. As the gas expands, it absorbs heat from the surrounding liquid, which in turn lowers the temperature of the beverage.
While there is no beer in a ChillCan yet, I would imagine we’re only a few years out, as it seems that was part of Joseph’s original dream. Here’s to looking forward to the day when we can leave the cooler full of ice at home.
Company Info: http://westcoastchill.com/