Pandemic pivot: Company converting dairy waste into alcohol switches to hand sanitizer production

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In New York, New Age Renewable Energy has been converting dairy waste into hand sanitizers to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.  The company is taking whey acid byproduct from milk production to produce gallon containers, 55-galon drums, and 275-gallon tanks of hand sanitizer, depending on organizational needs.

The process was developed over the last few years by company founder Joe Van Groll. The original plan was to use the waste to produce ethyl alcohol for use in liquor, paint thinners, and printer ink, but the pandemic changed the company’s market strategy. For every gallon of ethanol produced, one pound of yeast protein that can be sold as animal feed is also produced. “That’s the beauty of our process,” New Age Director Eduard Zaydman says. “We don’t really have waste.”