Banned energy drink gets new life as fuel source in Big Apple

Friday, January 7, 2011

NEW YORK - Fuel Loko-which was pulled from shelves across the New York City recently- could soon be found close to home: in your gas tank.

The controversial beverage, originally advertised as ‘blackout in a can,’ was pulled from shelves after consumers complained the potent mix of alcohol and caffeine was causing dangerous side effects.

Now, Four Loko and the three similarly formulated drinks have been turned into ethanol at facilities that are able to extract the alcohol from the drinks into something that can be sold and blended into gasoline.

Wholesalers along the East Coast have begun sending truckloads of the boozy beverages to MXI Environmental Services in Virginia, one of just three facilities in the U.S. that recycles ethanol.

The other parts of the drinks are reportedly recycled too, from the aluminum cans to the drinks’ water component to the cardboard packaging and pallets they are shipped on.

Brian Potter, vice president of operations at the MXI plant in Abingdon, said he and the other ethanol-converter facilities are slated to receive so many shipments of the drinks they could be working on the process for the foreseeable future.

“We’re equipped to process four truckloads a day, and we’re at full capacity. 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,” the New York Daily News quoted him as saying.

Meanwhile, Phusion Projects, the company behind the drink, has announced the launching of a “limited edition” version of the product in January.

The newly designed “Four Loko XXX” would offer customers a new flavor every four months, stated the company’s press release. (ANI)

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