Innovation That Matters

New ink is made from car exhaust emissions

Travel & Tourism

Bangalore-based startup captures air pollution and recycles the soot into ink.

“If you want to control global warming, the first thing to go after is soot” so says Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University. Soot in the environment is widely recognised to be damaging to health. The World Heath Organisation estimates that 5 million plus premature deaths are attributable to air pollution both indoors and outdoors. Here at Springwise, we have already seen a  shirt that detects air pollution and changes colour to alert the wearer and a wearable sensor that helps keep track of pollution wherever the user is. Now, from Bangalore-based Graviky Labs comes Air-Ink – the first pen to recycle air pollution and use it as ink.

Air-Ink builds on technology from the Fluid Interfaces Group, part of the MIT Media Lab and makes use of Graviky’s earlier innovation Kaalink to obtain its raw material. Kaalink is a cylindrical retrofit to vehicle exhausts which Graviky claims can capture up to 95 percent of particulate matter pollution. The captured carbon is then separated from the other heavy metals and carcinogens and combined with oils to make the final products, including pens, oil-based paints and spraypaints.

Preventing pollution from causing ill-health is a laudable aim in itself: recycling it into useful products is neater and less wasteful. What other ways are there to make use of the  byproduct of fossil fuels?



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