Wine production from the air

Air Co. in the US claims to have created the world’s first “carbon negative” vodka using a solar-powered machine that turns CO2 molecules into ethanol.

According to co-founder Gregory Constantine, each carbon-negative bottle of wine sucks in about 0.45kg of CO2 from the air over its entire life cycle, or as much as eight mature trees.

Wine production from the air
Air Co’s unique wine product. (Photo: Oddity Central).

Unlike traditional vodka which is made by fermenting starchy grains such as wheat, rice or potatoes and the process produces about 7kg of greenhouse gases, Air Co’s vodka. Made of only water and CO2 . The actual preparation process of this wine is just the separation of CO 2 from the air.

Stafford Sheehan, another founder of Air Co., told Fast Company magazine that the process to produce their unique vodka “is inspired by the natural process of photosynthesis, whereby CO2 breather. They use water and energy in the form of sunlight to make things like sugars and higher valence hydrocarbons, with oxygen as the only byproduct. Same with our process: The only by-product is oxygen.”

It is known that Air Co. uses a small solar machine to extract CO2 from the air, so the mixture can be broken down into carbon and oxygen. These split molecules are then mixed with water through a metal-based catalyst to form pure ethanol.

“After conversion, we distill 10% ethanol to 96.5%, followed by additional proprietary trade-secret processes to purify and dilute the ethanol to 40% vodka by volume.” Mr. Sheehan explained.

Air Co. Currently only supplying products to a few bars and restaurants in New York for 65 USD/bottle (about 1.5 million VND) and will expand distribution in 2020. The company also wants to make perfume and household cleaning products use pure ethanol made from CO 2 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.