Company makes ink out of India’s air pollution

March 28, 2017

Company makes ink out of India’s air pollution

cars on roadIndia’s dirty secret has a silver lining: The air pollution that is affecting millions of people in the country’s traffic-jammed cities can be turned into creative human expression with the help of a clever invention.

A team of four young scientists have developed a special device that collects carbon soot from engine exhaust. They then turn the collected particulate matter into different kinds of ink and paint, which they named AIR-INK.

One of their ink-filled pens, for example, can be filled with the soot collected from only 45 minutes of driving in Delhi. Imagine the mind-boggling numbers of cartridges that could be filled if only a fraction of the 9 million cars on the road of Delhi would use the device.

Earlier this year, the entrepreneurs took their idea to the global crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to raise funds for the further development of their idea. Their funding period ran 30 days from February 7 until March 9, and their goal was to raise $14,000.

Potential backers loved their product, and Graviky Labs ended up with $41,076 of pledged funds and tons of positive feedback. Many backers commented on the fact that their own cities could use the devices to combat air pollution in a meaningful way.

How the AIR-INK became reality

According to the information on the Kickstarter site, it all started as an experiment at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA. The initial idea was to make a handheld printer that uses candle soot, and the rough prototype was met with enthusiasm from environmentalists and artists alike. Since 2014, they have been working on ways to harvest pollution from engines and other sources in India, and found they could make a real impact.

Graviky Labs includes Anirudh Sharma, Nikhil Kaushik, Nisheeth Singh and Nitesh Kadyan. Their post tailpipe retrofit device KAALINK incorporates filters, sensors, and a capture unit and uses electrostatic filtration, depth filtration as well as wall flow filtration to collect the right type of pollution from automobile exhaust pipes.

In the lab, the team will purify the collected pollution to remove toxins such as re-entrant dust, heavy metals, oil, carcinogens, VOCs and more. The remaining soot is then ground to a consistent particle size so that the pigment will be smooth. Their initial product line includes round tip pens, chisel tip markers and screen printing ink.AIR-INK products

Environmentalists love the fact that no fossil fuels have to be burned deliberately to make carbon soot for ink, but that the process uses the fossil fuels already being burned in cars, thereby removing air pollution from the streets and turning it into something useful.

But is it safe? While they don’t recommend ingesting their ink, the entrepreneurs say their inks and paints are as safe as any on the market.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Clean Air News

AllerAir Product of the Month: AirMedic Pro 6 HD Vocarb
Product of the Month: AirMedic Pro 6 HD Vocarb

May 01, 2024

The AllerAir Carbon blend used in the activated carbon filter is a special blend that is all organic and does not contain any chemical additives. The Vocarb carbon blend is very effective to filter various Chemicals, VOCs, Fumes, and odors. Vocarb carbon blend is also used in many of our Industrial Air Scrubbers from our Industrial Division Electrocorp.

Continue Reading

Product of the Month: AirMedic Pro 5 HD Vocarb Air Purifier
Product of the Month: AirMedic Pro 5 HD Vocarb Air Purifier

April 01, 2024

The AllerAir AirMedic Pro 5 HD Vocarb air puriifer is based off the original flag ship 5000 Air Purifier. The 5000 Air Purifier was launched 2001 as a newly designed air purifier based off the original AllerAir AirMedic series. The new innovative design of the 5000 (now AirMedic Pro 5) is the air intake at the bottom of the unit, as opposed to the 360 degree intake of the older AirMedic series. 

Continue Reading

Product of the Month AirMedic Pro 6 Ultra S Smoke Air Purifier
Product of the Month AirMedic Pro 6 Ultra S Smoke Air Purifier

March 01, 2024

The AirMedic Pro 6 Ultra S Smoke Air Purifier has the largest carbon filter on the market, with a 5" thick carbon filter with 34 lbs of activated carbon. The Pro 6 Ultra S air cleaner comes with a Tar-Trapping Pre-filter, Super HEPA (H14), and 5" Activated Carbon filter, with a special carbon blend that is effective for al kinds smoke, including Wildfire smoke, removing harmful VOCs, chemicals, odors, and particles. 

Continue Reading