Jacek Koziel and Hans van Leeuwen, professors at Iowa State University, are looking to put a new put a new twist on the notion of drinking and driving. The duo has a $79,000 grant from the state-run Grow Iowa Values Fund to develop a cheap process of turning ethanol developed for fuel into a food-grade alcohol which can be used in beverages, pharmaceuticals and personal care products.
What's the point, right? The author of the AP article points out that the demand for fuel is at an all time high, so why would anyone need to find an additional use for ethanol? van Leeuwen's response is that the automotive industry, in spite of recent trends, may move towards a different fuel, whereas "the demand for liquor and mouthwashes and cough syrups will always be there." As Iowa continues to add ethanol plants, it seems as though they foresee a need to hedge their bets.

van Leeuwen also makes sure to note that the food-grade ethanol "tastes just like vodka."

[Source: Associated Press via MSNBC]

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