Food production and water processing facilities are warning that they won't be able to meet demand in the coming months. Why not? Because they are not getting sufficient carbon dioxide, which is used in their production processes. Why isn't there enough carbon dioxide? Because carbon dioxide manufacturers rely on ethanol production to collect the gas and ethanol production has decreased. Why has ethanol production decreased? Two reasons. Ethanol production was already ramping down because Russia and Saudi Arabia were flooding the market with inexpensive gasoline. And then people stop driving because of the coronavirus pandemic and ethanol production decreased even more.
This Guardian article reports that CO2 production could decline by as much as 2/3 in the coming months, and food and beverage manufacturers and water processing facilities are concerned:
[CEO of the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), Rich] Gottwald, along with a number of associations representing food and beverage industries, which together use 77% of food-grade CO2, issued a joint warning to the federal government about the shortage.
In an open letter to the vice-president, Mike Pence, the coalition warns: "Preliminary data show that production of CO2 has decreased by approximately 20%, and experts predict that CO2 production may be reduced by 50% by mid-April."
It continues: "A shortage in CO2 would impact the US availability of fresh food, preserved food and beverages, including beer production."