” Consumers are drawn to goods that do good, and Air Co. hope to play a role in bringing people sustainable solutions of the highest quality which harness the power of science and technology to improve our planet.”
The patented distilling process uses just two ingredients—carbon dioxide and water—to make its ethyl alcohol.
Lots of companies aim to reduce carbon in the atmosphere by implementing greener processes or purchasing carbon credits. Best way to reduce carbon is by capturing excess carbon dioxide from the air and transforming it into useful products.
Air Co. is a Brooklyn-based startup that claims to have developed the world’s first ‘negative carbon vodka.’ This is made possible by capturing carbon dioxide from the air and then using a solar-powered machine for transforming it into ethanol.
According to Gregory Constantine, co-founder and the CEO of Air Co – Air Co. Vodka is made up of three integral components : –
- Carbon dioxide
- Water and solar electricity
How to produce Air co. Vodka :-
As inspired by photosynthesis in nature, where plants breathe in CO2, take up water. It uses energy in the form of sunlight to make things like sugars and other higher-value hydrocarbons, with oxygen as the sole by-product. Same thing happens while making Air Co. Vodka with only by-product that is oxygen.
First of all water is splitted into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is then released out into the atmosphere, and the hydrogen is mixed with captured CO2 over a catalyst that causes a reaction to convert it into alcohol and water. Vodka is 40% alcohol and 60% water. The water is then removed via distilling, leaving behind the alcohol.
Traditionally Vodka is created by fermenting starch-rich grains such as wheat or potatoes in a process that produced 13 pounds of greenhouse gases. But Air Co. has something unique up its sleeve that vodka is created using only carbon dioxide and water. The production process can actually remove carbon dioxide from the air. Air Co. vodka is also free of impurities that can left behind from the grains used in traditional vodka production.
How it works ?
Air Co. makes use of a small and solar-powered machine for pulling CO2 from the air. Thus, making sure that the gas can be broken down into carbon and oxygen. These separated molecules are then mixed together with water while introducing a metal-based catalyst for creating pure ethanol.
Following conversion, distillation of 10% ethanol to 96.5% in a custom-built, 18-plate vodka still followed by additional proprietary, trade-secret processes to purify and dilute the ethanol to a 40% alcohol-by-volume vodka. Afterward, the water is then removed via distillation.
Air Co’s conversion reactor produces a mixture of approximately 10 percent ethanol in water. It is free of all solids or other constituents you’d usually find in fermentation.
Carbon Dioxide Absorber
Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology reveal a way to absorb harmful carbon dioxide from air. They’ve created a device that can absorb carbon dioxide from thin air. The device is basically a large-sized battery with electrodes on top that absorb harmful CO2 gas when it flies through these electrodes. The electrodes, are coated with a compound called polyanthraquinone. This compound is also known to naturally attract CO2. As the battery is charging up it causes a chemical reaction with the electrodes, thus causing CO2 to get absorbed.
Air Co. : Carbon negative
For each bottle of vodka produced, the company claims that it removes one pound of carbon from the atmosphere. It is equivalent to the carbon reduced by nearly eight trees in a day’s work.
After Air Co. introduced its vodka, public reception exceeded leaders’ expectations. The vodka won gold medals for blind taste tests at two international spirits competitions. Consumers have also embraced the company’s vision of redefining conscious consumption.
With its vodka launch, Air Co. joins a slew of startups attempting to innovate the food and beverage industry while appealing to both consumers and investors.
The vodka is Air Co.’s first product, but the company’s long-term goal is to become a consumer lifestyle business that makes fragrances and home cleaning supplies using pure ethanol made from carbon dioxide to help reduce greenhouse gases in the future.
Read more about Air Co. Vodka
Read: Non-Alcoholic Beer
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B.Tech Student at NIFTEM (National Institute of Food Technology and Entrepreneurship and Management)