Toxic air pollution can cause serious health problems such as cancer, reproductive complications, and congenital disabilities. It is observed that people who are healthy and athletic can be affected by air pollution. While air pollution has many consequences for our planet but there are solutions – World’s first ink which is made from air pollution – Air-Ink
As we all know, close to 4-5 million people die due to direct or indirect exposure to air pollution every year. A lot of that pollution comes from deliberately burning fossil fuels. There is an essential science thing: wherever you burn fossil fuels, you will produce PM 2.5 air pollution. (here PM- Particulate Matter and 2.0- the size of particles in microns) It means you will see fossil fuels being burnt, and you will produce a material. Its extremely fine carbon-rich material PM 2.5
Now what makes this carbon-rich material dangerous is the particle size, which is less than 2 microns in size. Moreover, we are walking outdoors, and we ingest it into our lungs. But here is what graviky did about it-
The world’s first ink is made out of air pollution. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) media lab turned something hazardous air from the environment into useful ink, which we all know as Air-Ink.
As the name suggests, Air ink is made up of air or would be better if we say polluted air. 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits. However, what if a device draws air pollution and turns it into valuable things… Around 40 to 60% of industrial printing is in black ink and made of petroleum-dependent processes.
Air ink is made from upcycled carbon emission, which means it is black, carbon-negative, and directly usable in existing production lines. Bangalore-based Graviky labs often quote a statement that “Be a part of the solution, Not the part of pollution.”
While every city is turning into the gas chambers, Anirudh Sharma, the founder of Graviky Lab [MIT Media Lab], come up with an excellent idea of turning air pollution into a solution as an opportunity for innovation.
He and his team upcycle carbon from various air pollution sources into high-quality ink, which we can use for painting walls, industrial inks, printing cloths, and many more. Moreover, the best part about this is Air ink is marked as a Solution to air pollution and its adverse effects on human life.
PRODUCTION OF AIR INK
Looking at these hazardous polluted particles of air ink from a material perspective, it is extremely rich in carbon. We know that carbon is the basic building block of everything. Taking this can that would have otherwise gone into your lungs or waste streams and turn it into the high-grade pigments and inks that are industrial.
Graviky Lab invented and started licensing the technology that retrofits onto the tailpipes of generators and small chimney stacks and captures that pollution. Retrofit tools capture various carbon emissions at the source. Then it cycles back into the production chain turning otherwise harmful waste into a net positive resource, and due to this, there is a 50-150% reduction in carbon footprint.
Graviky labs [Boston, Massachusetts] is a spin-off from MIT Media lab established by Anirudh Sharma.
They began their journey by capturing soot from burning candles to produce a rough version of air ink. After this experiment, graviky invented a device that grabbed air pollution and turned it into safe water-based ink. After the successful Kickstarter, graviky come to the fore with the world’s most significant sustainability collaboration with Heineken.
It is an award-winning clean of a technology company that has industrialized recycling air pollution emissions into advanced pigments and inks. Graviky labs played a vital role in turning carbon emissions into advanced materials and sustainable industrial feedstock from the past few years.
Kaalink- [variant of Hindi word for black] It is a cylindrical device that collects the dusty air, the device that is retrofitted into a vehicle’s exhaust system to manage carbon emission. It can collect up to 93% of total exhaust, processed to remove heavy metals and carcinogens. In short, kaalink filtrates soot, which contains carbon and other polluting agents like heavy metals and carcinogens. The end product from this device is purified carbon-based pigments. Kaalink has been tested on cars, trucks, motorbikes, and fishing boats in Bangalore and Hong Kong.
This device does not affect the engine performance. The collected soot by the device undergoes various processes to ensure safety, remove hazardous materials, and produce non-toxic ink. It is a mechatronic filtration, depth filtration, and wall flow filtration to filter soot. The final product, carbon, is mixed with different oils and solutions to make it non-toxic and form inks and paints.
MECHANISM OF KAALINK
The unit i.e… The Kaalink device automatically turns on when an engine is activated, and significant gases start flowing through the exhaust. This triggers the flow and thermo sensor, which in turn engages the mechatronic capture system. All delicate particle matter is then captured within the unit’s walls; however, gases are allowed to pass through, leaving the engine unaffected when the lights on the exterior of the crew turn from blue to red, the catchment in full.
- Each device can collect up to 95% of pollutants.
- Kaalink can easily fit over the polluting mouths of boats, chimneys, vehicles, and cranes.
- Every 45 min worth of car emission- 30ml of ink.
- It does stop not only CO2 gas enter into the air but also captures dangerous carbon soot called PM 2.5
- 600ml spray holds around 2000hr of pollution.
- 50-150% reduction in carbon footprint.
MISSION OF GRAVIKY
Currently, graviky doing deals and contract impacts for packaging and apparel industries with a lot of carbon footprint waiting to be solved. Eco-friendly merchandise for brands offset printing as a service packaging printing for brands.
Graviky is also researching advanced materials to make 3D printing solutions that would otherwise replace the conventional carbon-based printing used in the real world.
Artwork by Hong Kong Artist Bao-Ho using AIR-INK | Image Credit- Graviky lab
ü What is Air-ink?
Air-ink is the world’s first ink that is made out of air pollution. The products are made from a carbon-based gaseous substance that is generated due to the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels.
HQ- Cambridge(US) was founded in 2016
FOUNDER and Key People – [MIT Media Lab] Anirudh Sharma, Nikhil Kaushik, Chris Bremer
PRODUCTS- Kaalink, Industrial Ink, paints, and Markers.
ü Who invented Air-Ink?
Anirudh Sharma is the founder of Graviky. First came up with the idea of producing ink from air pollution while experimenting at MIT. He designed a printer that could print anything with carbon nanoparticles.
ü What is Kaalink?
It is a cylindrical device that collects the dusty air, the device that is attached to a vehicle’s exhaust system to manage carbon emission.
ü Award won by Anirudh Sharma for Air-Ink
For his Incredible work in Air-ink, Anirudh has won the MIT Technology Review 35 under 35 and the inventor of the year for Air-Ink, Forbes 30 under 30 awards, and Forbes Policy global thinkers award. Graduated from MIT Media Lab Massachusetts Institute of technology in Fluid Interfaces. He is also the founder of Ducere, which is the first wearable tech startup in India.
ü Disadvantages of Air-Ink
As it is made from air pollution, there are no disadvantages of Air-ink.