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CO2-based vodka startup Air Co. fully redirects its tech to making hand sanitizer for donation

A NYC-based startup that developed technology that extracts carbon dioxide from the air and combines it with water to create vodka has redirected its entire production capacity toward producing hand sanitizer, every bottle of which will be donated through collaboration with NYC officials, and potentially to local restaurants who employ delivery personnel providing critical service as social distancing and isolation measures continue.

Air Co. launched its vodka just last year, using a process it developed (which has received awards from NASA and XPrize) that is actually net carbon-negative. It involves pulling around one pound of carbon dioxide from the air which is then combined with water and turned into pure ethanol using solar-based renewable energy. Ethanol also happens to be the key active ingredient in hand sanitizer, which is generally between 60% and 95% alcohol in its most effective iterations.

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