Your car: Powered soon by Four Loko

January 7, 2011

CityRoom & NPR Wire

(Getty Images/Joe Raedle)
Four Loko's newest incarnation? Gasoline.

Even if you can't drink and drive, your car can. And Chicago’s now-banned Four Loko is providing the fuel.

A Virginia company is taking in truckloads of boozy caffeinated drinks, including Four Loko, and recycling the stuff into pure ethanol to be blended into gasoline.

A crackdown on the beverages is leading wholesalers of the stuff to send it from their warehouses to waste management companies for handling.

"We’re at full capacity," Brian Potter, VP for for MXI Environmental Services, told the Associated Press. "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."

In November, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission moved to get drinks combining caffeine and alcohol off store shelves. Despite the ban, there has been a black market for the product, complete with skyrocketing prices. Four Loko has reintroduced a reformulated version, without the caffeine elements, and is back in stores.

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