JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Cut carbon emissions by drinking eco-vodka

Eco-vodka

Eight full grown trees of carbon in every bottle of Eco-vodka

No seriously, yesterday Air Co launched a type of vodka made from air instead of potatoes. One bottle allegedly soaks up “as much CO2 as eight fully grown trees.”

At $65 a bottle, this will be a must have for fashionable snowflakes who have too much money and not enough taste buds.

This solves the hole in the market for all the people wanting low carbon Bloody Mary’s.

The vodka, which costs $65 for a 750 ml bottle, is made from only two ingredients, carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and water. That’s unlike traditional vodka, which is typically made by fermenting grains such as corn, potato and wheat. Producing a typical bottle of vodka could create around 13 pounds of greenhouse gases, according to Fast Company, while Air Co.’s product is carbon negative, removing a pound of carbon from the air with every bottle produced.

More efficiently than plants?!

The process uses the same principles as photosynthesis in plants but does so more efficiently,” Constantine tells CNBC Make It.

Air Co.’s technology splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, then combines the hydrogen with carbon dioxide (collected from factories near its Brooklyn, New York headquarters), which creates alcohol and water, only emitting oxygen into the atmosphere.

I like that they collected that carbon dioxide from factories, rather than stealing it from farms or forests.

Finally, someone finally found a way to do something useful with solar panels!

Air Co. says its patented system works by using (renewable solar) electricity to turn carbon from the air into pure ethanol.

Next up, someone can sell conversion kits for home solar to moonshine. (Do it for  The Grid!)

Air Co. says its vodka is also free of the impurities that can left behind from the grains used in traditional vodka production.

Free of impurities for sure, and possibly also any residual flavour. I can’t see this technique threatening the wine industry.

Presumably they could have just called this drink “Ethanol” but Vodka is so much more catchy.

 

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (48 votes cast)
Cut carbon emissions by drinking eco-vodka, 9.8 out of 10 based on 48 ratings

66 comments to Cut carbon emissions by drinking eco-vodka

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    An amazing find Jo and you’ve covered it well.

    The main thing is that it should taste like, water.

    The world has gone ABC BBC, UNIPCCC, MalEx444,

    Mad.

    If anybody finds the real world anywhere please send it back home, we need it.

    The only good news is that a bottle of this, if shared equally, might temporarily neutralise up to six XR demonstrators in half an hour. Unfortunately similar beverages have proven of no value in fixing their ABC and the occupants of Canberra’s parliament house.

    Maybe air vodka can be of some use as a “helping agent” in prescribed burns in overgrown areas that need clearing.
    Take that either way.

    KK

    https://www.insidehook.com/article/booze/air-co-vodka-carbon-neutral

    80

    • #
      Geoff

      Can make hydrocarbons and alcohols from water, electricity and CO2.

      Can also generate electrical current and magnetic field from water and IR.

      Had this working for many years.

      Not new technology.

      This stuff was known in 1920s.

      20

  • #
    The Depraved and MOST Deplorable Vlad the Impaler

    I could be wrong, but the last time I checked, pure alcohol (or at least about 98% when you buy it in the store) was called “Everclear”. Useful if one wishes to be inebriated in very short order, but lacking in any enjoyable flavor. I’m with Jo on this, the fermentation process that makes ‘vodka’ gives some flavorings to the brew, which distinguishes it from just plain, straight ethyl alcohol.

    Sign me up to try some of the “vodka” which comes out of the spigot at night … … … … …

    80

  • #
    Yonason

    “At $65 a bottle, this will be a must have for fashionable snowflakes who have too much money and not enough taste buds brains.”

    (low hanging fruit)

    90

    • #
      Dennis

      Would they be vegans who are apparently prepared to pay just under $10.00 for a Hungry Jack’s vegan fake meat burger and ignore the just under $7.00 real meat Whopper?

      lol

      40

    • #
      Dean Sorley

      Well to be fair its not that much more expensive than a bottle of high strength spirits is it?

      I mean I understand its all well and good to pile in without thinking, but really, is it that expensive?

      20

  • #

    I was expecting sth like the cans of London Fog they used to sell in the 60s. That is ethanol, now mostly made from petroleum ethylene gas if memory serves. The US Pharmacopoeia defines whiskey as made from grain, so neutral spirits from cornstarch glucose do not qualify, but they can apparently call that vodka. Meh. I’d rather have a nuclear battery for energy.

    20

  • #

    I’m surprised that they didn’t also introduce Gin, Whisky (natural colouring, non-flavouring, agents added), beer etc. I’m sure the warming worrier generation would jump at these alternatives.

    60

  • #
    Yonniestone

    From the link: Air Co.’s product is actually carbon negative, removing a pound of CO2 for every bottle produced.

    Yeah what about the violent exhalations of 40,000ppm CO2 followed by the pound of vomit landing on the road where some poor XR sod has to glue themselves?

    Not very socially responsible but an excellent example of brutal equilibrium.

    60

  • #
    AndyG55

    At $83 a litre, it won’t be that long before we can use it for transport fuel !

    80

  • #
    Greg Cavanagh

    If this can create ethanol, then they don’t need acres of corn to produce ethanol.

    If they market this as a replacement for corn instead of alcohol they could make themselves a fortune.

    And lack of taste for vodka isn’t a problem anyway, lemon is the additive of choice.

    60

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      The missing ingredient that they want to avoid mentioning, Electricity.

      Sourced from?

      They didn’t count the CO2 “debt” from their electricity, but hey, this is just commercialism done 2020 style.

      KK

      120

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        And the cost of the electricity would rule making it in Australia, and that’s before the excise and State charges are added on.

        It has always amazed me how the scammers can take old chemistry (100 years) and make it sound like a vital breakthrough.
        Next thing someone will claim he can generate hydrogen from brown coal – hang on, we’re giving that subsidies already.
        Next thing some people will make promises about extracting gold from hot air (outside of those in Queensland who got 444 million).

        90

      • #
        tom0mason

        If the process is similar to that I’ve posted at comment 12 (http://joannenova.com.au/2019/11/cut-carbon-emissions-by-drinking-eco-vodka/#comment-2217556) then…

        1. The copper catalysis that are used are sourced via a silicon wafer type of process — similar to making integrated circuits (IC).
        2. The water used in the process has to be kept very pure or it will contaminate the catalysis — no sulfate/sulfides, Chlorine, Florine, etc..

        60

      • #
        Screaming Nutbag

        Well, they *do* mention it, and they *did* count it, but I guess you don’t want to start a new trend and base your comments on researching the facts, do you?

        06

        • #
          Screaming Nutbag

          Gosh, we have 6 red thumbs to whom facts are clearly anathema.

          It is a plain checkable fact – anybody who is truly sceptical can go to Air Co’s website and see that they do the exact opposite to what tomomason misleadingly claims.

          01

  • #
    Another Ian

    Speaking of hangovers

    “Looks like after the hallucinogenic green fantasy the morning after hangover has begun in Europe.”

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/europes-green-fall/

    40

  • #
    diogenese2

    What is the lifestyle of somebody who. lives in NewYork (possibly highest cost of living in the USA) and can afford to pay 3* the price of Vodka readily available anywhere? I hope their apartment is heated by gas as the 3* tax on that vodka is funding an administration that is throttling their supply and will probably give them the bras monkey treatment sometime this winter. Of course, they could put the Vodka in their fondue burner!

    60

  • #
    John in NZ

    I make my CO2 from yeast and sugar. Ethanol is just a byproduct of this process.

    Fortunately distillation for personal use is legal in NZ although I am wondering if they are going to ban fermentation because of the CO2 it produces.. Don’t tell them.

    50

  • #
    GI

    But you would have to rename it Methylated Spirits in Australia to avoid unnecessary legal complications for those who actually wanted to drink it.

    40

    • #
      AndyG55

      different compound.

      Metho is methyl alcohol not ethyl alcohol.

      Apparently some people drink metho, but its effects are rather more dangerous.

      50

      • #
        tom0mason

        “…some people drink metho, but its effects are rather more dangerous.”

        Who said that?
        Step into light where I can see you!
        I’ll give you dangerous, just you show yourself!!

        :-~

        60

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Had a guy come into the hardware store every Saturday for a bottle of turps and never thought anything of it , the guy that does the arvo shift turned up early one day when the guy was buying the turps and he asked him if he wanted a cold one .
        When the customer left I said that was a bit rude but the coworker said he drinks it and has been for years it’s a wonder he’s still kicking

        40

      • #
        GI

        Sorry Andy G,

        You are wrong.

        Methylated Spirits as sold in Australia is actually 95% Ethyl alcohol with a 5% fraction of Methyl put in to deter drinkers.

        And for anyone with a semblance of chemistry knowledge – why it mixes with water.

        50

  • #
  • #
    Lance

    I like my vodka made the old fashioned way, from potatoes.

    Their stuff sounds like tasteless rubbish.

    Now if they could find a way to make a good Sour Mash Bourbon Whiskey from CO2, then you might have something.

    30

    • #
      The Depraved and MOST Deplorable Vlad the Impaler

      Your comment reminded me of the scene in Master and Commander, while the crew was taking leave on the Galapagos Islands (to allow the ship’s surgeon to recover from an accidental GSW), the crew found some cactus-looking plants, and threw them into some form of distillery.

      Not sure if the “brew” would be called ‘whiskey’, ‘vodka’, or a type of ‘wine’, but I bet something of that nature would be, pardon the language, kick-ass! Probably quite a bit more than an old f*rt like me could handle … … …

      10

  • #
    tom0mason

    Looks like this may be the production end of an original piece of Stanford Uni research …

    A recent discovery by Stanford University scientists could lead to a new, more sustainable way to make ethanol without corn or other crops. This promising technology has three basic components: water, carbon dioxide and electricity delivered through a copper catalyst. The results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

    “One of our long-range goals is to produce renewable ethanol in a way that doesn’t impact the global food supply,” said study principal investigator Thomas Jaramillo, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Stanford and of photon science at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

    From https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170619165409.htm

    30

  • #
    Salome

    So how do I rig up my SodaStream to produce moonshine?

    60

  • #
    John in Oz

    two ingredients, carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and water

    Air Co.’s technology splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, then combines the hydrogen with carbon dioxide (collected from factories near its Brooklyn, New York headquarters), which creates alcohol and water, only emitting oxygen into the atmosphere.

    Not telling the whole truth is as bad as lying. Water vapour is the most prevalent greenhouse gas but they only mention the nefarious carbon dioxide.

    60

  • #
    Reed Coray

    Now wait just a minute. According to https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2016-2-march-april/ask-mr-green/how-much-carbon-do-trees-really-store, after growing for 25 years one silver maple will have sequestered 400 pounds of CO2. Using the atomic weights of 16 and 12, respectively, for oxygen and carbon, this equates to (a) 108 pounds of carbon per tree and (b) 864 pounds of carbon per 750 milliliter bottle (8 trees) of vodka. Air Co didn’t specify the length of time over which carbon sequestration is measured; but using the caption below the bottle of vodka–”Eight full grown trees of carbon in every bottle of Eco-vodka,“–a 25-year sequestration span is not unreasonable. Air CO also didn’t specify the “tree” used for its calculations, but unless it’s playing games with their advertising (something no respectable company would do/sarc), a silver maple is a representative as any other tree.

    864 pounds per bottle puts a whole new perspective on carrying a hip-flask full of booze–no wonder drunken derelicts walk with a stoop.

    20

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Reed is that figure of 12 atomic mass or atomic weight or is it the same thing ?

      00

      • #
        Reed Coray

        I believe there are subtle differences between atomic mass and atomic weight; but for an estimation of the weight of carbon in a tree, I think these differences are negligible. Oxygen and Carbon exist in various isotope states but using relative weights (masses) of 16:12 for oxygen:carbon implies that 27.2727…% of the weight (mass) of a CO2 molecule is carbon. Thus if a tree contains 400 pounds of carbon dioxide, to the nearest pound the tree contains 109 pounds of carbon.

        20

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Seems to me that you’ve put 750 litres into your 750 millilitre bottle. You’d better have strong braces on your trousers if you use a hip flask.
      Cheers
      Dave B

      20

    • #
      Reed Coray

      At the website https://uncrate.com/air-company-vodka/ I found the following:

      AIR COMPANY VODKA
      While all vodka is distilled down to a clear, pure liquid, Air Company has taken the levels of purity to a totally new level. Their vodka is the first to use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, adds water, and uses electricity to break apart the carbon dioxide and water to transform it into ethanol and oxygen. This means no farming, no grain, and no irrigation — making it the most eco-friendly spirit on earth. After conversion, Air Co. uses a custom-built vodka still that distills the ethanol into an 80 proof vodka that is not only carbon negative but also happens to be great in a martini. It’s hand-bottled with removable and reuseable labels and each one produced equal[s] the daily carbon intake of eight trees. (bold emphasis mine)

      (bold emphasis mine)

      Since there are approximately 25×365=9125 days in 25 years, a 25-year-old tree with a total CO2 sequestration of 400 pounds of CO2 will have an average daily CO2 sequestration of 400/9125=0.043836 pounds. The average CO2 daily sequestration of eight trees is thus 8*0.043836=0.351 pounds of which 27.27% is carbon. If I’ve done the calculations correctly, the total weight of carbon in one bottle of Air Company vodka is thus approximately 0.0956 pounds. This number is much more reasonable than the 864 pounds per bottle arrived at by using the total CO2 sequestration over a 25-year period.

      10

  • #
    Brian

    I would hazard a guess that their process is the method pioneered in Singapore and published in 2017 using electrolization to produce ethylene. 2CO2 + 2H2O = C2H4 + 3O2. Then it is a simple matter to convert ethylene and steam under pressure with a phosphoric acid catalyst to ethanol. Add a bit of flavoring and very silly people with far too much money will no doubt buy the product as their contribution to saving the world from CO2. But since the average person exhales close to half a kilogram of CO2 a day they will have to do some significant damage to their liver to make up for their contribution to the atmospheric partial pressure.

    20

  • #
    David Maddison

    I’ve got a better idea.

    Why not let the plants absorb the CO2 from the atmosphere and let them turn it into grains or potatoes and then turn that into vodka?

    80

  • #
    Ross

    OT. It is great to see the Africans have got their priorities right. I really hope they succeed.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-africa-oil-climate/no-apologies-africans-say-their-need-for-oil-cash-outweighs-climate-concerns-idUSKBN1XI16X

    I sent this link to a geologist friend and he says Exxon, Hess and a few others are making huge finds there and he believes if they can keep the corruption under control (or get rid of it ) their economies will boom.

    Anyone looking for an investment they will welcome you :

    https://www.africanews.com/2019/11/07/african-countries-showcase-oil-and-gas-investment-opportunities-at-africa-oil-week/

    20

  • #
    David Maddison

    There are numerous “green” schemes to turn CO2 back into carbon or carbon based compounds like ethanol but the energy required to do this is never mentioned. The beauty of using carbon fuels like coal is the large amount of chemical energy released with their oxidation. The reverse process, reduction, takes at least as much energy. That’s basic thermodynamics. Am I missing something?

    60

  • #
    Zane

    This is taking green virtue-signalling too far.

    60

  • #
    Maptram

    If it’s like some other alcoholic beverages, like champagne, someone will stop them calling it vodka.

    50

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    We’re gonna need a bigger swig of vodka … comrade …

    Last month, Russia ratified the Paris Climate Agreement;
    https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/09/23/russia-formally-joins-paris-climate-agreement/

    This month …

    “Russia has ditched plans to set greenhouse gas emissions targets for companies … following lobbying from big businesses that risked fines if they didn’t comply.”
    https://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1061489197?t=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eenews.net%2Fstories%2F1061489197

    50

  • #
    pat

    if only they could find a way to make cellulosic ethanol drinkable, they could help to alleviate the annual Delhi smog caused by farmers in neighbouring states burning stubble (plus Diwali festival firecrackers – despite a ban this year; increased number of vehicles due to 7 million increase in Delhi’s population in the last decade; & local weather conditions).

    so far, the economics haven’t stacked up for converting the stubble into biofuel but, if someone can find a way to value-add as with the vodka, it might be a win-win for everyone except the CAGW mob that depends on a week of Delhi smog headlines to ramp up the alarmism around this time of year.

    a little relief:

    8 Nov: India Today: Delhi air pollution: Rain and wind improve city’s AQI
    Met dept predicts city can expect to breathe cleaner air today due to more rain.
    by Prashasti Shandilya
    Air Quality Index (AQI) improved significantly on Thursday, owing to high wind speed up to 20 to 25 Kmph and very light rainfall. The overall AQI on Monday reduced to 244 in the “poor” category…
    A prediction by the Indian Meteorological Department predicted higher wind speed after November 3 because of the effect of an active western disturbance.
    Light drizzle brought down the pollution level but the condition deteriorated post afternoon. Overall AQI recorded at 20.00 hours escalated to 319 in “very poor” category, because of dip in temperatures condensing the pollutants…

    The thundery weather development sure added to the delight of tourists and Delhiites post the hazardous conditions which forced them to stay indoors and away from Delhi.
    According to Krishna Kant, “We’ve come from Gujarat and it’s a moment of pride for us to have seen India Gate which isn’t clad in smog. However, we expected toxic pollution here but much against our expectations, we’re enjoying a pleasant day here.”…
    https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/delhi-air-pollution-rain-and-wind-improve-city-s-aqi-1616866-2019-11-08

    2 Nov 2018: EconomicTimesIndia: Rs 2 vs Rs 8,000: The stark reason why Delhi has no choice but choke
    Farmers here have only two options — either spend a fortune burning stubble or spend Rs 2 on a match box.
    By NIDHI SHARMA
    It is a stark choice – to spend Rs 2 or Rs 8,000 – and every year farmers in Punjab and Haryana plump for the first option. They spend Rs 2 to buy a box of matches and set paddy stubble on fire to get their fields ready for the next sowing season before Diwali. Nothing has managed to dissuade them so far, despite successive schemes and awareness campaigns launched by the government, not even penalties.

    Simple economics is at the heart of the worsening menace that chokes Delhi every winter, ET found while travelling through northern India’s rice belt from Sonepat to Karnal…
    There are other options, including selling the stubble to paper industries or for ethanol production. But there are no such units in the vicinity…
    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/farmers-find-hiring-machines-uneconomical-burn-stubble/articleshow/66470431.cms?from=mdr

    22 Sept 2018: TribuneIndia: In Punjab & Haryana, stubble into ethanol after two years
    Bathinda project announced in Dec 2016, EPC not yet awarded
    by Vijay C Roy
    The NDA government ambitious plan to check air pollution in Delhi that is spread mainly due to stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana seems to be a distant dream as its proposed ethanol producing units are unlikely to be commissioned before 2020.
    https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/business/in-punjab-haryana-stubble-into-ethanol-after-two-years/656814.html

    30

  • #
    RoHa

    ” by fermenting grains such as corn, potato and wheat.”

    Potatoes are grains?

    50

  • #
    MatrixTransform

    theyre making home-kits?

    sticking the several hundred volt DC bus from yr solar panels into a brew of catalyst, methanol and O2

    what could possibly go wrong?

    20

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>