Now you can save the planet while you drink.
Air Co., a Brooklyn startup, has produced a vodka without any grains or fermentation. The carbon-neutral vodka is the most eco-friendly spirit on earth because its production has no impact on ecology.
Air Co. produces this Vodka literally out of thin air. It use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, water and electricity to produce the drink. It has launched the product in a few bars, restaurants and retail stores in New York City this week.
“Our technology uses carbon dioxide and water along with electricity to create alcohol,” Stafford Sheehan, an electrochemist and cofounder of the startup, told Fast Company. “That’s inspired by photosynthesis in nature, where plants breathe in CO2. They take up water, and they use energy in the form of sunlight to make things like sugars and to make other higher-value hydrocarbons, with oxygen as the sole by-product. Same thing with our process: The only by-product is oxygen.”
By using carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the company removes one pound of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per bottle. Carbon dioxide is broken apart with electricity and water and is transformed into ethanol and oxygen.
“Following conversion, we distill the 10 per cent ethanol to 96.5 per cent in custom-built, 18-plate vodka still followed by additional proprietary, trade-secret processes to purify and dilute the ethanol to a 40 per cent alcohol-by-volume vodka,” Sheehan said.
“What we’re able to fit in a 500- to 1,000-square-foot space, traditional alcohol production methods and distilleries would need football fields and football fields of corn and irrigation,” said co-founder Greg Constantine. “We can do that in a very metropolitan area, and that allows us to potentially displace transportation by placing these, hopefully, around the country.”
“Rather than going to the commodity market with the ethanol that we were creating, we looked at the value proposition from the price point of where high-purity ethanol is highest,” Constantine told Forbes. “And it just so happens that man-made vodka is where that premium is.”
The company now plans to expand to perfumes and other ethanol-based consumer products.