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New home carbonation system is tank-free

The Spärkel appliance is an innovative new at-home soda-making appliance that’s making a debut in the US. It has a key point of difference: it offers custom carbonation but without CO2 cylinders.

As consumer interest in clean eating and drinking grows and flavoured seltzer waters take off, in-home appliances such as SodaStream have become kitchen staples. By eliminating the need for plastic bottles, such appliances hope to be more environmentally friendly, but Spärkel says it takes this a step further by removing the need for CO2​ tanks, instead using carbonator sachets than generate CO2​. Carbonating with consistent quality Spärkel founder, Darren Hatherell, germinated his system through disgust with the waste of shipping single-serve water around the globe, that high-pressure CO2​ cylinders are mostly unsafe to ship with everyday e-commerce methods; and most systems can’t offer consistent quality of carbonation as the tank empties.
So Hatherell set out to expand versatility and carbonation quality in a new appliance. Most existing systems carbonate the water first and then flavour it or add infusions afterwards. It’s not normally recommended to carbonate other beverages with at-home machines. He set out to develop a new machine that allowed for customisation, and sought out to fix the e-commerce problem with co-founder, Roy Sawyer. Their Spärkel device officially launches this month after the team went through a few product generations, starting back in 2011. If you can imagine it, you can ‘Spärkel’ it The Spärkel system is totally different from existing systems, using ‘Carbonator sachets’ that naturally generate CO​gas, made from citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. To use Spärkel, consumers can fill the 25oz (710ml) bottle with any combination of ingredients; water and the likes of tea, wine, spirits and juice, as well as fresh fruits and herbs. Once the filled bottle is loaded on the dock, the Carbonator is poured into a chamber and sealed with a handle. In the chamber the gas is generated, which then travels into the bottle. When the gas goes into the bottle, the pressure in the bottle goes up, which is what infuses the flavours into the bottle contents and allows it to absorb the gas. Instead of having a CO​tank which jets in high-pressure gas, Spärkel goes in the other direction. It generates gas in the chamber and then travels into the bottle. The bottle is then sealed, so it gives off the same sound and sensation as traditional soda when opened. “You could put anything into that bottle and infuse real ingredients with bubbles,”​ Hatherell said. “If you can imagine it and get it into the bottle, you can Spärkel it.”​ Users can also choose their desired fizzy level with buttons on the device, with the top setting better for thicker liquids like orange juice or wine. A market with room to grow Spärkel follows similar ethical principles to other at-home carbonation systems. The reusable bottles are good for 3,000 cycles, saving many single-use plastic bottles and aluminum cans from the waste stream. Spärkel sells the fully electric and automated system in nine colours on its website for $99. But as a special launch promotion, it’s being sold 50% off for $49 to those who sign up online​. It will also sell the Carbonator sachet packs and extra bottles, but does not have plans to develop any branded flavour drops or syrups. Hatherell thinks that market has declined, and finds that his early customers are using Spärkel mainly for fruit-infused sparkling water concoctions. See more on the Indiegogo crowd-funding site…. and watch the video below: Source: Sparkel, Indiegogo.com

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