Banned Energy Drinks Turned To Ethanol

Joanna Schroeder

People desperate for the rush of excessive caffeine while drinking alcohol had their shaky nerves calmed when oodles of Four Loko and other alcohol-laden energy drinks were yanked from the shelves. Federal authorities asked manufactures to discontinue producing these drinks citing they were dangerous and calling them an “unsafe food additive” that caused partakers to become “wide-awake drunk.” According to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg many people who consumed the drinks suffered from alcohol poisoning, car accidents and assaults.

Fortunately, the drinks won’t go entirely to waste. The AP has reported that wholesalers from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and others operating on the East Coast have begun to ship truckloads of the banned drinks to facilities to convert them into ethanol.

MXI Environmental Services in Virginia in just one of those facilities who is now converting to beverages to fuel. According to the AP article, Brian Potter, vice president of operations at MXI’s facility in Abingdon, Va., said about a couple of hundred truckloads of the drinks would be coming to the plant. Each truck holds 2,000 cases of the 23.5-ounce cans.

“We’re equipped to process four truckloads a day, and we’re at full capacity,” he said. “There are about 30 different products involved, and we’ve only seen a couple of them at this point. It could go on for several months.”

In addition to recycling the drinks into ethanol, MXI is also recycling the aluminum cans and Potter said in about 30 days the cans will be back on the shelf as another beer can. They also recycle the drinks’ water, cardboard packaging and shipping pallets.

Now this is truly an example of the saying “drink the best, burn the rest.”

biofuels, Ethanol