This ink is made from air pollution
We complain about it everyday, but hardly do anything about it. Air pollution harms us in more ways we can imagine. But there’s someone who found a way to use air pollution for good.
Anirudh Sharma, while on a visit to India, saw black soot coming out of a car. Instead of getting worried about inhaling polluted air, he devised a plan.
He went back to MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was a graduate student focused on augmented reality, and began working on an idea to turn carbon pollution into ink. Using candle soot to start, he came up with a prototype. After finishing his master’s degree, he went back to India and in 2016 co-founded a collaborative called Graviky Labs to continue working on Air-Ink and other ideas.
They first developed a filtering device called Kaalink, derived from the Hindi word “kaala” meaning black, that was comprised of a steel cylinder that could be affixed to an exhaust pipe.
This device that can be fitted onto the exhaust pipe of a car or portable generator and collected the soot that forms from burning diesel fuel. By mixing the fine black powder with solvents, they produced ink that then went into bottles and markers.
Byproducts from burning fossil fuels such as gasoline and coal are causing health problems and climate effects around the world, especially in India’s growing cities. But AirInk uses this soot to make ink, to be used in daily life.