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Coca-Cola Switching to Carbon Dioxide-Based Beverage Coolers

A few years ago, Coca-Cola decided it would significantly decrease its environmental impact. When it took a good look at where its environmental footprint was highest, it saw that vending machines are a big culprit.


Let’s take a moment to accept the “Duh” of this.


To combat the vending machine factor, Coca-Cola began replacing HFC machines with CO2 machines. Yep – Carbon Dioxide is helping our environment! By the end of i recommend real cialis online 2006, the company had 6,000 units placed world-wide (yes, that’s relatively few when considering they have 10 million machines operating around the cialis 20mg globe, but still nothing to sneeze at). Continuing with that trend, they’ve drastically increased their CO2 machine intake by purchasing 100,000 new compressed carbon dioxide beverage coolers.


The new machines will emit 75% fewer greenhouse gasses, though they cost about 25% more. This is significant when considering that HFCs are major global warming pollutants and, if allowed to run as rampant as they currently are, their overall contribution to viagra 100 mg global warming pollution could nearly double within 40 years. Compressed Carbon Dioxide-based cooling units, on the other hand, will help reduce the impact of these HFC clunkers on our planet – and since Coca-Cola is a global company, it truly is a global issue.


On top of purchasing the new CO2 machines, Coca-Cola has also invested $40 million to research next generation refrigeration technologies. Lets hope this research includes looking into that little factor of electricity consumption required by those 10 million machines to light up, take your money, and spit out a cold beverage.


If you think like me, you have a LOT of questions buzzing about the true bonuses of this project, like what is happening to the old machines; and are they really replacing old HFC machines, or just adding to the number of machines in their fleet while still running those pesky HFC coolers for however long they’ll keep chugging away; and what is the environmental impact of producing the original viagra CO2 machines in the first place; and on and usa levitra on. Well, I guess if you think like me, then we’ll all just have to take a deep breath and go one step at a time. Step one: Congratulate Coca-Cola on taking a significant lead on reducing emissions via clean(er) technology.


Via cleantech, coca-cola, goodcleantech, r744

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Comments (29)Add Comment
Vending machine efficiency
written by smfr, May 31, 2008
Another issue with vending machines not mentioned here is that the economics of renting out vending machines is not set up to viagra tablets for men encourage energy efficiency. Coca Cola come along and dump a vending machine on the forecourt of canada cheap levitra your local gas station, and plug it in. It's the gas station that pays for the electricity to power the thing, so the manufacturer has little interest in making it efficient. They just want it to sell more product. A quick glance at any vending machine will make it obvious that they are not built for energy efficiency; thin walls, lots of cool air flowing out etc.
o hai
written by Smile, May 31, 2008
>:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( :o :P :P :P :-* :-* :P :D ;) :)
This is shameless pandering and may in f
written by Mario, June 01, 2008
I am an undergraduate studying mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I just completed a rigorous year long thermodynamics, fluids, and heat transfer course. In this course, we compared the canadian pharmacy levitra prescription carbon emissions of CO2 refrigerators verses those that use HFC as a refrigerant.

Right off of the bat I'm going to admit that HFC-xxx does bad things to the atmosphere, much worse than an equivalent volume of CO2. One thing that should be noted though is that this is only if the refrigerant is leaked to the atmosphere after the fridge is disposed, an unlikely scenario.

The crux of the issue is that CO2 is an inferior working refrigerant than HFC-xxx. This means that CO2 refrigerators are LESS EFFICIENT than their HFC-xxx counterparts. CO2 refrigerators USE MORE ENERGY.

Making the (excessive) assumption that the user of a refrigerator decides to dump the refrigerant into the atmosphere after the fridge's life expires, a pretty straightforward first order analysis shows that the only time that a CO2 fridge produces less of a "CO2 footprint" than its HFC-xxx counterpart is if it is used in a country that generates electricity primarily with nuclear plants (thus the generic viagra canadian pharmacy increased electricity usage is offset by atmospherically cleaner electricity generation).

With this in mind, when one looks at how electricity is generated worldwide (one of the few countries in which there is enough nuclear power to make this worthwhile is France, the EU as a whole and the US do not have a significant enough nuclear electrical generation fraction) one can see that CO2 refrigerators generally are worse for the atmosphere, because they require more electricity to be generated, and thus cause more atmospheric greenhouse gas pollution from power plants.
written by John Thomas, June 01, 2008
My hats off to Coca Cola for doing whats right. I knew I liked them better than Pepsi for a reason!

written by Randy, June 01, 2008
This is why real men drink Beer!
written by will, June 01, 2008
Has Coke bought any Carbon Credits - just to be on the safe side? I would rather go ahead and send Al some money, then try to get a credit when I figure out just what in the hell I'm really doing to the environment. Coke would really have something if their machines emitted bubble gum, unicorns, and cupcakes.
To Mario:
written by Ryan, June 01, 2008
The reason HFCs were used in the first place is because they were cheaper to get out and cheaper to run. That was then.

The problem with students running off with new "undergraduate" information is that most of the information they teach you has been in circulation for 10-30 years because, quite frankly, the professors would rather focus on their research than incorporate new information into large lectures. While the discussion you had may be valid in most points, refrigeration companies have developed new substances that operate at the same energy consumption as HFCs, specifically the R744 cited in the article [if you bothered to read it]. In addition to wow it's great viagra online usa that, advances in heat-exchangers and other designs such as the move to cascade refrigeration design and eventually to transcritical cooling systems will reduce initial costs. [from Danish Tech Institute Article "Co2 - Revolution or False Dawn?" on's article database]

In the end, like most moves consumer product companies make, it's all PR and marketing. You say you're saving the world one sale at a time and a margin of people will buy into it - and that's how they make their paycheck at the end of the day. Tomorrow it might be biodegradable bottles or LED lighting systems in the vending machines. Cooling has always been a difficult problem, as you may know, in terms of efficiency and environmental impact. It hasn't bothered the companies because they just pass on the costs to the consumer [$1.25 for 6 cents worth of material], and the owner of cialis in australia for sale the wall socket doesn't really care ["A Roadmap for Simultaneously Developing the free cialis sample Supply and Demand for Energy Efficient Beverage Vending Machines"]. Since the whole global warming hoopla has been on the public mind, Coca Cola is just capitalizing on the consumer interest. There's a ton of articles discussing the points you brought up and they've covered most of the popular points of interest. Operation costs aren't really that much of a concern for operators or manufactures since it all just gets passed on to consumers - and people are addicted to the stuff anyway, especially Americans.

My credentials? I'm a Mechanical Engineering student at UC Berkeley. [undergrad ;D]
written by luke, June 01, 2008
this looks like a promo for coke...
Good for Coke
written by PS3 guy, June 01, 2008
Good job coke. Way to help the enviorment.

P.S. Coke is better than Pepsi.
written by Josh, June 01, 2008
HFC basics 101.

They are not vented into the atmosphere unless there is a leak.

Mario is spot on, this is actually causing more harm to the environment.

My credentials?
I worked on HFC systems as a kid, this stuff isn't networking, it's pretty basic.
Well Done
written by Simon Slade, June 01, 2008
Great to see some of the big players doing something for our environment. If only they would all follow suit!

timed standby
written by hey, June 01, 2008
I am sure a lot of the coke machine could go into a power-saving standby mode at night. Eg if they are in an office or school.
Be cautious
written by Phil, June 01, 2008
Now that we're starting to move away from an oil based economy, the powers that be need to be able to control us with their IRON fist. Control over every aspect of our lives via a carbon trading scheme will give them that power so that once they're not providing all our energy, they can still control us. Please don't be fooled. The CO2 global warming thing is a VERY _VERY_ clever scam. Don't let them control your thoughts too.
written by Matt, June 01, 2008
Must make you eco-socialists angry... :D

Even though GW stoped in 1998 as admitted by the IPCC Global Warming is better than an cooling...bring Global Warming. 8)
written by Dan Lorenc, June 01, 2008
I don't know what the professors at Berkeley are like, but here at MIT they don't have a problem incorporating new information into our lectures. Everything you mentioned above not only comes straight from the CO2 lobby, but is also only an attempt to make CO2 come closer in efficiency to R134-A.
Those advances in heat-exchanger design you mention have no effect in the overall efficiency of the cycle. Take a basic refrigeration cycles class before you start spouting that crap.
Mario and Josh have it right
written by Ken, June 01, 2008
CO2, or R744 in ASHRAE speak, is not as efficient as R134a or other HCFCs under most real world conditions, which also aren't as efficient as the old and free viagra outlawed Freon (R12). There are some refrigerants out there that are even more efficient like SO2 (R764) but they have the cheap generic viagra no prescription nasty side effect of being toxic if they leak. The concern I have on CO2 machines is that they operate at a MUCH higher pressure. As these machines age, and are abused in the field, a failure could be worse than just emitting 2 or 3 pounds of refrigerant into the atmosphere. These heat exchangers need to be very robust, hopefully the supplier of these machines for Coke has done their failure analysis well. My credentials, I have a bachelors and masters focusing on Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer & Combustion from Michigan Tech, and about 17 years experience as a working engineer, with several years in automotive refrigerant systems.
Saving power v gas release
written by Ian, June 01, 2008
What I've read above would suggest that the gas used is rather trivial if a machine were to run for more the a few years. Therefore saving energy is key, and the specific gas used is of little consequence unless it impacts on efficiency.

The local Coke distributor here in Kingston Ontario has been installing an external power control unit that is triggered by a motion sensor. If there is no one walking past, then the machine is powered down after twenty minutes.
Some are dead.
written by Byron Beebe, June 02, 2008
Ecogeek, You say some are dead.I can't read his name on the one example you give.What is his name?When was it signed? What is the date he died? When you talk about 31,000 people ,natually some will die.Probably more than one per week.Where did you get the information? snoryb
Big Picture
written by William Moore, June 02, 2008
I think switching from HFC to CO2 is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, in the grand scheme of things, it will make an extremely small impact when considering the entire process of supporting vending machines. A far greater amount of cialis next day carbon emissions is produced by the bottler's trucks that fill these machines than is produced by the manufacturing and operation of the machine. What's the best way to make vendors more efficient? Increase the product storage volume so the truck makes less deliveries. The benefits of one thermodynamic cycle over another quickly becomes insignificant when the generic viagra in canada business system is considered as a whole. Good idea, great PR, not gonna change the world.

I am an engineering consultant at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta with a BSME from Georgia Tech. I wasn't on the project, but I work with many of the engineers who were. I have attempted to express their views above.
CO2 much more efficient than R134a!
written by Skace, June 06, 2008
Sorry, but everyone claiming that CO2 is less efficient than R134a, should go to this website to read about energy efficiency benefits from CO2: This long-held argument is NO LONGER VALID for most applications. The move of Coca-Cola is definitely a step in the right direction, that's for sure. They themselves found that CO2 is at least 5% more efficient than HFCs. Guys, they spent $40 million on their research for the best refrigerant, you don't want to tell me that they chose a gas that's less efficient...
written by BHart, June 06, 2008
There are clearly many folks reading this who know lots about these issues. I'm looking for information to persuade my employer that he should place the Coca-Cola machine (old style, no energy-star rating and certainly not CO2 as coolant) in the shade, rather than the full sun. Any thoughts about the potential energy savings?
it totally agree with Skace about the fa
written by gadgetman17, July 08, 2008
just go to and download the coke papers demonstrating where, how and when CO2 is more efficient than 134a. This is coke saying this not anybody else.
written by fgb, July 23, 2008
Are we talking about COKE? As in, CARBONated beverage? As in, we can't emit CO2 fast enough, we have to sell 45 billion personal cans of CO2 a year to accelerate the drowning of Baby Polar Bears?

And, we're worried about the odd refrigerator?

Possibility 1] Coke buys CO2 for carbonation expensively obtained from air separation plants at 350 ppm, and is just putting CO2 back into the atmosphere that it just took out. Sure it is. You have to wonder why CO2 is not front and center on APCI's products list, if folks actually manufacture CO2 by expensively extracting it from 350 ppm atmosphere, or why PRAXAIR explicitely waves off 'atmospheric' on theirs, as a source of CO2? That is, if you were technologically illterate.

Possibility 2] Coke buys CO2 from actual CO2 manufacturers, who do it economically(ie, not possibility 1.) CO2 generators generate CO2 by burning fuels, not by burning fuels and runnign cryoexpanders to eke out 350 ppm CO2.

Oh, the irony of those cute little polar bears in the COKE commercials.

OTOH, MMGW from CO2 is apparently also causing the ice caps on Mars to recede. You'd think, that's got to make the viagra 20mg True Believers a little uncomfortable. We'll ignore that one.

Never mind, let the insanity of crowds proceed unabetted; put COKE on the rack! This is, after all, about political science, not actual science.

For just a small fee, my company is offering "Green Thoughts." They go well with Carbon Offsets. For a small fee, we will retire a case of COKE and sequestor it in your name. For every ten cases retired in your name, you are entitled to buy yourself a tiny red, green, and white ribbon, to show the world how much you care. It's either that, or CEMS, we're not sure which totally useless bit of tribal nonsense to pursue.

retired facility manager
written by Peter Taylor, August 23, 2008
Has anyone checked out the "vending miser"? It drastically reduces the energy consumption without affecting the refrigerated product.
written by Graham Smith, April 12, 2009
Well. What A load of well you know what. I went to Coke and Pepsi and turned away. I invented and patented a solar powered vending machine that works almost any where has no CO2 emmisons and they didnt give a txxx for it. See it yourself on you tube.
written by Ignorant git, May 13, 2009
Has anyone thought about the fact that softdrink makers deliberately put CO2 into their products, which is released into the atmosphere when you open the drink? I thought efforts to solve the only today cialis 50 mg tablets environmental problems is to reduce CO2, not make or use more? Carbon footprint ring a bell anyone?
written by Jason , March 03, 2012
HFC, HCFC, CFC All obviusly not good if released to atmosphere,Really what else is there if not co2. Amonia? maybe.larger super markets and refreration rack systems operating on R507, 22,404,AND 134A have the potential to dump up to 400kg of refrigerant to atmosphere with one leak.This is where C02 is an advantage. for anyone who thinks leaks dont happen ha dream on. I beleive coke is heading in the right direction, but the biggest advantage comes from comercialrefrig plant above 5kw.
Vending Machine Manufacturers
written by Johnymarsh, July 31, 2012
This is a good move by Coca-Cola thinking for welfare of best online levitra environment.Nice replacement!!
written by Geoffrey, November 14, 2013
Its a good discussion but I would like to quote(Has anyone thought about the fact that soft drink makers deliberately put CO2 into their products, which is released into the atmosphere when you open the drink? I thought efforts to solve the environmental problems is to reduce CO2, not make or use more?)I think one thing first its simple and easy plant more trees and cheap cialis order online you have solved the issue of Co2.It doesn't make sense the amount emitted from soft drink,has any negative I prefer Co2 Refrigeration idea.It will safe the environment a lot.Thanks to Coca Cola company for the good idea and move.

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