Turning Air Pollution Into Ink

Elle Zhan Wei
March 2nd 2017

Air pollution causes 3.7 million premature deaths each year and counting. Massive developing countries are threatened by this powerful enemy. “I see smog every morning” said Anirudh Sharma, co-founder of Graviky Labs,  Indian startup and spin-off of MIT Media Lab focusing on technological innovative solutions. That's why he found a way to turn air pollution into ink that can be used for printers, markers and more. They call it Air Ink.

They built a contraption (Kaalink) that can be connected to the tail pipes of cars or boats, chimneys and many other exhaust ports of factories or coal burning bodies. The raw carbon is then converted into ink, through a purification process. The ink comes in perfect black, and can be used to for markers, paints and screen painting. In one marker, it contains the pollution emitted by a car during a 45-minute drive.

In 2016, Air Ink products were given to graphic artists in Hong Kong, a city known for its high air pollution, who were requested to paint murals. Now it has raised over 17,000 US dollars on kickstarter which enables them to release oil based paints, fabric paints and more. “I used to think the sheer scale of this issue can make us feel powerless. But when you connect ideas with passion and creativity, amazing things are possible” says Anirudh Sharma.

Sources: Air Ink, Population Matters, Kickstarter

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