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Life cycle engineering of production, use and recovery of self-chilling beverage cans

Arena, N, Sinclair, P, Lee, J and Clift, R (2016) Life cycle engineering of production, use and recovery of self-chilling beverage cans Journal of Cleaner Production.

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The chill-on-demand system is a new technology designed to provide cooled products on demand, thereby avoiding chilled storage. It uses the cooling effect provided by endothermic desorption of carbon dioxide previously adsorbed onto a bed of activated carbon and has the potential to be applied to any type of product that needs to be cold at the point of consumption. The principles of life cycle engineering have been utilized to evaluate the overall environmental performance of one possible application of this technology: a self-chilling beverage can, with a steel outer can to contain the beverage and an inner aluminium can to contain the adsorbent. An attributional life cycle assessment has been undertaken considering all the life cycle stages of a self-chilling can: manufacture of each part of the beverage container, its utilization, collection of the used can, and management of the waste by reuse, recycling and landfilling. Activated carbon production is included in detail, to assess its contribution to the overall life cycle. The results are compared with those for conventional aluminium and steel beverage cans stored in two types of retail chiller: a single door refrigerator and a large open-front cooler. A sensitivity analysis explores alternative scenarios for activated carbon production and for recovery of the can components post-use for reuse or recycling. The results highlight the importance of using activated carbon produced from biomass by a process with efficient use of low-carbon electrical energy, energy recovery from waste streams and appropriate air pollution control, and of achieving high rates of recovery, re-use and recycling of the cans after use. The results suggest limited markets into which the product might be introduced, particularly where it would displace inefficient chilled storage in an electricity system with a high proportion of coal-fired generation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Environment
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Centre for Environmental Strategy
Authors :
Arena, N
Sinclair, P
Lee, J
Clift, R
Date : 24 November 2016
DOI : 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.11.148
Grant Title : Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) This article is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). You may copy and distribute the article, create extracts, abstracts and new works from the article, alter and revise the article, text or data mine the article and otherwise reuse the article commercially (including reuse and/or resale of the article) without permission from Elsevier. You must give appropriate credit to the original work, together with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI and a link to the Creative Commons user license above. You must indicate if any changes are made but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use of the work.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Self-chilling systems, Activated carbon, Sustainable manufacturing, Life cycle engineering, Beverage cans, Closed loop use
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 29 Nov 2016 09:24
Last Modified : 11 Dec 2018 11:22

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