“What if we could use the ugliness in the air to make our streets more beautiful?” – Anirudh Sharma
It’s no secret that our planet is becoming increasingly saturated by pollution created by our everyday actions, behaviours and developments, and over the last 150 years, mankind has depended on burning fossil fuels. In the last few decades Asia has rapidly grown and in turn, so has its air pollution. But it’s not all bad news. I’d like to introduce you to AIR-INK, the first ink made entirely out of air pollution which has been captured and repurposed. This ink, created by Indian start-up company Graviky Labs in collaboration with Tiger Beer, is now available and is to be predominantly used for art purposes. you can draw, paint, screen print, write and create artwork on anything from small sheets of paper or textiles to large scale murals, making our streets more beautiful.
“Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
Graviky Labs was founded by inventor Anirudh Sharma who turned down Silicon Valley to follow his passion and create his own start-up. He teamed up with Tiger Beer to create Air-Ink™, the first ink made from air pollution. Tiger believe’s in creativity from the streets, for the streets, and so once the ink was ready to be put to purpose, together they shared the ink with artists based all around the world with an aim to ‘beautify our streets’.
‘Soot is the major byproduct of the burning of fossil fuels. Research has shown that many premature deaths are directly related to soot in the environment. Particle exposure leads to around 20,000 premature deaths in America each year. Data also shows that soot annually causes almost 300,000 asthma attacks and 2 million lost workdays due to respiratory problems.
Our vision is to arrest the vehicular PM air pollution in a way that it doesn’t reach our lungs. The process of creating AIR INK™ carefully detoxifies heavy metals and particle carcinogens from the soot or carbon.
The pollutants which could have been in the lungs of millions of people are now beautifully resting as art.’
So how is Air-Ink actually made?
Graviky Labs use their proprietary technology, KAALINK to capture soot emitted from vehicles. KAALINK is a contraption retrofitted to the exhaust pipe of vehicles to capture the outgoing pollutants without affecting the vehicle’s engine performance.
Soot is collected by KAALINK and then undergoes various proprietary processes to remove heavy metals and carcinogens. This then leaves an end product of purified carbon based pigment.
During the final stage of the pollution conversion, the carbon is taken through another chemical process to make different types of inks and paints. This process also avoids having to burn any additional fossil fuels which making regular ink does, as well as eliminating soot from the air so it really is a win win.
Over the last 3 years AIR INK™ has been successfully formulated tested and piloted, catching the attention of anyone who shares an interest in art, science, recycling, and environment. They have launched a preview store where the inks will be available to pre-order in the near future.
Here are some of the inky products listed so far:
0.7MM ROUND TIP
Fine point marker for everyday creativity. Approx. 40 minutes of diesel car pollution
2MM ROUND TIP
Perfect for shading and small detail. Approx. 50 minutes of diesel car pollution.
15MM CHISEL TIP
Thick lines, smooth strokes, great feel. Approx. 130 minutes of diesel car pollution.
50MM WIDE TIP
Made extra wide for murals and large-scale pieces. Approx. 130 minutes of diesel car pollution.