Air Co. is a New York-based start-up that previously focused on extracting carbon dioxide from the air and combining it with water to produce inflatable vodka. But with the COVID-19 outbreak triggered by the new coronavirus, Air Co. decided to respond to the government’s call to shift all capacity to hand sanitizer and donate it to places that provide critical services, such as local restaurants and expatriates.
(Pictured from: Air Co. official website)
Air Co. was rewarded by NASA and XPrize for the production of vodka using a net negative carbon process, launched last year.
The technology can absorb about a pound of carbon dioxide from the air, mix it with water, and convert it into pure ethanol with the help of renewable solar energy.
Ethanol also happens to be a key active ingredient in hand sanitizer, with the ethanol content of common wash products ranging from 60 to 95 percent, so Air Co. is not a very difficult product to transfer.
Gregory Constantine, ceo and co-founder of Air Co., said in an email that the company is based on its mission of traveling social welfare and wants to find ways to help communities fight the spreading new coronavirus outbreak.
For this reason, the company does not intend to take advantage of the current irrational panic rush. In addition to using 100% of its capacity to make hand sanitizers, the company will donate all of its products.
“Initially production was lower than expected, but the company managed to fix the first batch of 50ml of 50ml products for more than 1,000 bottles, and will further increase production,” says Constantine.
As for where to offer wash products to, Air Co. wants to leave it to a professional charity to decide, and to work with local restaurants to provide the company’s hand sanitizer to the delivery staff.