Our Cars Will Soon be Running on Four Loko


Photo credit: rafaelmarquez via Flickr/CC BY

I never did have the bad fortune to drink any Four Loko during the brief period of around four and a half minutes when it was legal to do so. Alas, the controversial alcoholic energy drink has been banned and huge shipments of the stuff kept from coming to market. But what's surely a loss for college kids and aspiring rappers everywhere is the ethanol industry's gain. Say what? Yup, it may not be long before Four Loko is fueling your car. Grist has the story:

A Virginia facility is now turning the drinks into fuel, by distilling their alcohol and recycling it into ethanol. MXI Environmental Services, one of three plants in the U.S. that can turn products with extractable alcohol into auto fuel, has contracted to buy Four Loko producer Phusion Projects' backlog of the stuff, which is now often unsellable as well as undrinkable. They're also accepting shipments of alcoholic energy drinks from wholesalers across the East Coast -- the Associated Press reports that MXI is expecting "a couple hundred truckloads," each of which holds 2,000 cases. That's a lot of caffeinated booze mercifully removed from the hands of college students.
The only reason this story is notable, of course, is because of how much we all love to hate Four Loko, or at least revel in its nearly unparalleled ridiculousness. Turning unused alcoholic beverages into ethanol is hardly a new practice -- MXI, along with two other plants in the US, have been transforming bad booze into fuel for years.

And yes, that includes alcoholic energy drinks -- which means that the similarly-fated Sparks might already be powering your Volvo.

More on Energy Drinks and Ethanol
Energy Drink High, Greener Yoga and Cilantro Coconut Soup
The New Drug of Choice: Energy Drinks?
Al Gore : I Was Wrong About Ethanol

Tags: Transportation