Is there soon to be a Carbonation Shortage in the United States? It seems that this might be the case.

Is there soon to be a Carbonation Shortage in the United States? It seems that this might be the case.

Could the “fizz” in Coca Cola and Pepsi soon disappear? I don’t believe so but this Forbe’s magazine article seems to suggest that both companies (and a host of others like them) might soon be under critical CO2 supply line pressure. Its all to do with the Coronavirus crisis

I quote the Forbe’s magazine article as follows:


“Soft drink and beer makers are scrambling for access to CO2, a key ingredient in the carbonization used to make their products after coronavirus shutdowns have closed off their access to the chemical.

“The supply is rapidly deteriorating,” says Geoff Cooper, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, which represents the ethanol industry. “Absent of some intervention to keep these facilities running, it will further deteriorate. We’re on the verge of something fairly disruptive. It’s going to be hard to come by.”

A coalition of associations from beer and meat packers, which use it for slaughter and refrigeration, sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence on April 7 expressing “strong concern”  about the shortage and asking for government intervention as ethanol plants were forced to close in droves due to the coronavirus crisis. CO2 production at ethanol plants, which produce carbon dioxide as a byproduct from fuel production, was down about 20% at the time.

Production is now down 30%. In the past two weeks suppliers have started breaking contracts and preparing for shortages as five more ethanol plants have either closed or significantly reduced output. Of the 45 U.S. ethanol plants that sell carbon dioxide, 34 are closed, while other sources from ammonia plants and oil refineries are also declining due to the crisis.

A serious crisis will hit in May without government help, says Rich Gottwald, the CEO of the Compressed Gas Association. Within the next four weeks, he expects production to reach a more than 70% shortfall. “It continues to get worse,” Gottwald says, who adds he is hopeful of recent discussions with the federal government. “There will be shortages. The entire food industry understands the challenge now. Everything is so interconnected.” (I emboldened the text)


It seems that new CSIRO technology developed in Australia will soon have an answer to such a problem. The CSIRO claims that it will be more reliably extracted from the atmosphere.

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