Air Co, a New York-based start-up has developed a way to produce vodka that uses captured CO2 instead of yeast. The process is not only more carbon-efficient but it actually making a bottle of the vodka is the equivalent of the daily carbon intake of eight trees.
This miracle vodka is not only carbon negative but is gluten-free, free of impurities and has no carbohydrates or sugar.
“Our technology uses carbon dioxide and water along with electricity to create alcohol,” Stafford Sheehan, an electrochemist and cofounder of the start-up told Fast Company.
Air Co Vodka - Photo Air Co
“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.”
Making traditional vodka can use up to six kilos of greenhouse gases, the Air Co vodka is greenhouse negative, utilising 0’5 kg of carbon dioxide for every bottle it produces.
If all this sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. Air Co harvest CO2 from nearby factories, mostly from traditional alcohol production facilities. In their distillery, which all runs on solar power, they split water into oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen is emitted, and hydrogen is combined with CO2 in a special reactor. The process produces water and alcohol, which is then distilled.