The once-popular (now illegal) alcoholic energy drink Four Loko is being reborn — as auto fuel. Wholesalers along the East Coast started sending cases of the fruity malt beverages to MXI Environmental Services, one of three plants in the U.S. that recycles ethanol, after the Food and Drug Administration banned the drinks last November. The vice president of operations at MXI, Bruce Potter, said that they expect to receive a couple hundred truckloads of the drink a day, even though the plant is only equipped to process four truckloads per day. Each truckload contains 2,000 cases of the 23.5 ounce beverages and while MXI is currently at full-capacity, Potter noted that his competitors are also taking shipments.
MXI distills the alcohol from the drinks and then sells the fuel to be blended into gasoline. They also sell the aluminum cans to a recycler, and recycle the water from the drinks, the cardboard packaging, and the shipping pallets. “These are actually things that could go directly into a landfill or incinerator or some other waste process that’s not as environmentally friendly, so I think it’s a good thing,” Potter told the Associated Press.
After a series of accidents and deaths, the FDA cracked down on high-alcohol, caffeinated malt beverages when they realized that a concentrated combination of the two was potentially lethal. In total, four companies who sold caffeinated alcoholic beverages were forced to recall their drinks. MXI is currently receiving more than 30 different products, and Potter said that the recycling process could go on for months.
Via Huffington Post