Using air pollution to make art

What: Air-Ink
Why: “How can we take something that’s totally undesirable, ugly, as as air pollution, and turn it into something beautiful…”
Who: Anirudh Sharma, Co-founder, Graviky Labs
Where: Singapore, & MIT Media Lab
How: Capturing air pollution (carbon) from exhaust pipes, into a purification process, treated with solvents to create beautiful inks.




The process

Step 01

While cheaper carbon black inks are manufactured through the deliberate burning of fossil fuels, the Air-Ink team uses a proprietary device – the KAALINK – to capture soot that is already being emitted from vehicles. KAALINK is retrofitted to the exhaust pipe of vehicles/generators to capture the outgoing pollutants.

Step 02

The soot collected undergoes various proprietary processes to remove heavy metals and carcinogens. The end product is a purified carbon rich pigment.

Step 03

The carbon is then used to make different types of inks and paints.

End result

The team has created several grades of AIR-INK with different applications: 2mm round tip and 15mm, 30mm and 50mm chisel tip markers, and screen printing ink.

Check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

The Author

Meet the Captain

Reigning from Kabul, Afghanistan. Kal is an artist, a designer, a builder, and a hopeless romantic.

Kal Sayid
Chief Education Officer
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