Self-cooling soda bottles from Coke

Coca-Cola has developed a self-cooling soda bottle that cools off when you open the cap (presumably some kind of decompression effect). No beverages are being sold in the new packaging yet, though the (awful) UK newspaper The Mirror reports that "Sprite Super Chilled" will launch in the bottles. Link (via Shiny Shiny)


  1. >but they must be put in a special vending machine to regulate temperature.

    Don’t most vending machines have chillers to cool the drinks?

    So if you have to keep it in a refrigerated vending machine anyway, why bother with the “special” bottle, why not just crank up the chiller?

  2. I used to have these self cooling packs in a first aid kit that were chemically induced. The chemicals were kept seperate until you squeezed the pack (think glow-sticks, but without the glass vial).
    It was pretty neat, and they were’t too expensive. But they didn’t get tremendously cold either. And I wonder what the environmental impact would be from producing something like that on the scale that only Coca-Cola could.

  3. OutlanderSSC: “Don’t most vending machines have chillers to cool the drinks?”

    Thank you for that voice of sanity, I thought it was just me. I think whoever sold Coca-Cola this bogus technology is laughing all the way to the bank. “Yes it instantly refrigerates drinks – but only if they’re already refrigerated.”

  4. The difference is they’re not keeping soda at 40 degrees (or whatever they’re stored at). They’re keeping soda at room temperature reducing their power consumption. The reason they need to be “cooled” is that if they don’t the bottles that are overpressurized will EXPLODE if it gets too hot.

  5. I remember seeing something on the telly about this way back in the ’80s. How it worked was under the can’s sealed opening, there was a tiny chamber filled w/ compressed C02. When you opened the can, the C02 would be released both cooling and carbinate the beverage at the same time. I remember thinking at the time, “there goes the whole portable cooler and ice chest’s for the beach market”. When after 20 years no such cans materialized on the market I figured the idea just didnt work out the way they wanted.

  6. This idea is as old as pressurization. In fact carbonated beverages already do this. The perfect Coke is one from Mexico in a glass bottle that is cooled to the point where when sealed it is all liquid but when you open it the decompression cools it enough to cause tiny bits of Coke ice to form in it.

    As for taking this effect to the next level and actually using it to chill a warm can or bottle of soda, there was a guy in my dorm in 1992 that was working on prototypes for this. The challenge is to find a way to build it into the can for a reasonable price.

  7. There’s probably nothing special about the bottle. If you ‘super cool’ a regular soft drink and then smack it and open it…it forms slushy ice inside the bottle.

    By ‘super cool’ I mean have the temperature the soft drink slightly below 32F. It doesn’t freeze at this temperature.

    You can try this in your freezer at home. Get a plastic bottled soft drink about 30 deg. F in the freezer, take it out and bang the bottom on the table and watch the ice crystals appear inside the bottle.

  8. There is, or was, a long-running investment scam centered around a claim that someone had invented a self-chilling soda can.

    A friend in college was ready to invest. He handed around a photocopied sheet that described the invention: A gas-filled cylinder is hidden in a soda can; open the top and the cylinder is pierced, slowly releasing the gas and cooling the soda.

    It describes how many retail outlets could offer cool soda without the expense of refrigeration.

    It noted that the cylinder displaced 1 oz of soda in a typical 12 oz can.

    Maybe it was a real invention with real possibilities at one point, but I suspect it mutated into a scam somewhere along the way.

  9. …For the record, Coca-Cola was working on a self-chiller back in the late 60’s that was *supposed* to be on the shelves by 1973. The idea was simple: you pop the then-removable tab – remember cutting your heels on those, fellow eldsters? – it in turn pulled a nylon string which bent a small container inside the can. This mixed the chiller chemicals together and brought your drink down to ~40o F. The problem was that the long-term storage tests found that the chemicals tended to eat through the aluminum, and while they weren’t toxic – at least they didn’t kill any rabbits or monkeys – they did make the soda taste really, really salty. Hence the project was…er, canned.

    …This one, from what I’ve been able to dig up from a couple of friends who work for Coke, does appear to use the decompression trick. Most of us who love frozen Cokes and especially Dr. Peppers will stick the cans and bottles in the freezer until when you shake them they don’t feel quite liquid. Then, when you pop the top the decompression causes the soda’s temp to drop below freezing, and you get varying levels of slush. If this new bottle design works, then all they’re doing is what we’ve been doing since we were kids ever since playing around with your Mom’s freezer became fun *and* acceptable.

    Of course, the downside is that the greedy bastards will stick an additional 40-75 cents onto the price, and *then* make it available only in those offensive, designed-by-Satan-and-the-hippie-health-freaks-who-he-buggers, 8oz cans…;p

  10. There is a better way to do this, though the technology is very new (only about two years old), and hasn’t quite advanced to this point just yet, but it’s called Active Building Envelope (ABE). What it would basicaly be, is a thin clear film placed over a bottle of soda, and using solar energy cool the drink. The same process can be used on the windshield and windows of cars to both heat or cool them. If I were running Coca Cola, I would invest in this technology and use it instead of a pressurised method. Besides being way cooler, it would be a smart investment because the application potential for a product like this is enormous.

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