Innovation That Matters

The process of turning air pollution into a luxury drink is similar to that of photosynthesis in plants | Photo source Mae Mu on Unsplash

CO2 pollution turned into high-end sipping vodka

Food & Drink

Renewable energy powers the process that turns air-borne carbon into pure ethanol

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Spotted: New York City-based technology and lifestyle company Air Co. recently introduced its first product — carbon-negative vodka. Using solar energy to power its proprietary process, the company captures, heats and transforms carbon dioxide into valuable goods. 

Electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide into alcohol isn’t new. What is new is the drinkability of the final product. The process of turning air pollution into a luxury drink is similar to that of photosynthesis in plants. Heated water splits into hydrogen and oxygen, which when combined with carbon dioxide, creates alcohol and water. The company then distils the new mixture until the alcohol reaches the appropriate strength. 

By skipping the entire fermentation process, there are almost no impurities in the drink. And with no farming needed to produce grain, the drink not only removes pollution from the air, but it also saves water, time and myriad other agricultural-related expenditures. 

Air Co.’s goal is to change the world through “goods that do good”. The company is already looking beyond the luxury drinks market to consumer lifestyle products such as fragrances and cleaning supplies. The vodka is available in and around Brooklyn, New York, with plans for wider distribution to follow shortly. 

Other methods Springwise has spotted for turning waste into something valuable for consumption include a beer made from discarded pumpkins and an automated juice bar that turns the rind of the fruit into a recyclable cup



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