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Four Loko Could Soon Power Your Car

Four Loko Could Soon Power Your Car

Cases of Four Loko and other alcohol-spiked energy drinks are on their way to MXI Environmental Services in Virginia where they’ll be turned into ethanol and other products.  Wholesalers from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and other East Coast states are sending truckloads of the stuff to be recycled following a ‘crackdown’ by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November, according to yesterday’s Salon.

Last fall, Ramapo College in northern New Jersey banned the drinks after six students were taken to the hospital after drinking cans of Four Loko.  Several college students noted that ‘Four Loko and similar drinks were catching on among their peers because they were cheap and potent yet did not taste like alcohol.’  

Also, the drinks are highly accessible.  One of my students told me that they could be purchased at CVS, not to mention convenience stores like 7-11.

On November 17, the FDA sent letters to four companies producing the alcohol-laced, caffeinated drinks noting that consumption of them can render a person a  “wide-awake drunk.” (Indeed, the drinks have been referred to as ‘blackout in a can.’) The letters were sent to Phusion Projects, Charge Beverages Corp., New Century Brewing Co. and United Brands Company Inc. Two years ago, Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors removed their Bud Extra, Tilt and Sparks drinks from the market after pressure from their state’s attorney generals.

According to Brian Potter, vice president of operations at MXI’s facility in Abington, Virginia, the alcohol is distilled from the drinks and then sold so it can be blended into gasoline. The aluminum cans are sold to a recycler and the drinks’s water, cardboard packaging and shipping pallets are all recycled, too. 

It’s been asked if Four Loko and drinks like it should be banned. Hopefully hearing that these ‘beverages’ can be turned into ethanol—gasoline—will make people realize how bad this stuff is and certainly not something that you want to drink.

Previous Posts are Care2:
Will the FDA Rule Against Alcoholic Energy Drinks?

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5:22AM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

Kudos for recycling!
There is always someone that is going to over imbibe, so in order to protect the few, we take the choice away from others.

11:05AM PST on Jan 16, 2011

They probably only distilled it into fuel products because the toxic waste fines were too high to pour it down the drain.

In the ingestible form it is not car fuel, and it is disingenuous of the author to imply that because you can turn it into ethanol it is somehow inedible. Lots of plant foods can become ethanol. Corn is a common source in the US. In Brazil used sugar cane is processed to make ethanol.

I'm sure four loko is bad for you, and I have no wish to try it, but is isn't the same as drinking car fuel.

10:21PM PST on Jan 13, 2011


5:21AM PST on Jan 13, 2011


4:07AM PST on Jan 13, 2011

thanks for posting!

8:23PM PST on Jan 11, 2011

Some people will sell anything. Some will buy it.

5:16PM PST on Jan 11, 2011


11:52AM PST on Jan 11, 2011

Thanks for the article. It's good to hear that they are doing good with this stuff instead of dumping it.

8:04AM PST on Jan 11, 2011


7:03AM PST on Jan 11, 2011

Nice one =) Thanks

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