This US startup is making vodka from CO2

A drinks startup in New York is hoping to combat CO2 emissions by selling vodka distilled with carbon dioxide instead of yeast.

(Photo: Air Co.)

The spirit made from air contains “no impurities, no carbohydrates, no sugar,” and “no gluten,” and is carbon negative, according to Air Co, a “technology and lifestyle company” in New York, US.

Stafford Sheehan, an electrochemist and co-founder of the project, said his technology is “inspired by photosynthesis” in nature, and uses “carbon dioxide and water along with electricity to create alcohol.”

“[Plants] 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.”

The company captures CO2 emissions from nearby factories to make the spirit, which will be listed at Michelin-starred restaurants in New York such as Eleven Madison Park and Gramercy Tavern.

Sheenan, a chemical physics PhD from Yale University, and fellow founder Gregory Constantine, a former marketing lead at Diageo-owned vodka brand Smirnoff, met during a Forbes Under 30 Summit in 2017, and bonded over their desire to develop a value-driven startup.

“On the side I was working on carbon dioxide conversion and, when we met, I wanted to get more into fighting climate change on a bigger scale than tinkering in a laboratory,” Sheenan told Forbes.

As well as harnessing carbon emissions from local factories (including some distillers), the startup’s technology is also solar-powered. The pair have kept distribution local to minimise their own carbon emissions, and claim theirs is the first “carbon negative” vodka as a result.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Fine Wine Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Account Manager - London Trade Sales

Bancroft Wines Ltd
London, UK

Brand Manager

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London UK

Marketing Assistant

Speciality Brands
Park Royal, London, UK

Key Account Manager

MMI Maldives

Financial Controller

London City Bond
Barking, UK

Duty Manager

The Whisky Exchange
Great Portland Street, London

Spirits Advisor

The Whisky Exchange
London, UK

International Sales Manager

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London, UK

Millésime Bio 2020

27th Jan 2020

Maisons Marques et Domaines Annual Tasting

London,United Kingdom
29th Jan 2020

Austrian Wine Tasting

London,United Kingdom
3rd Feb 2020
Click to view more