Ink Made From Air Pollution

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Anirudh Sharma and his team have developed a device that can capture air pollution at its source; once collected, they turn the soot into ink. (Graviky Labs)

Health Editor’s Note: Finding an “upside” to air pollution?….Carol

This Ink Is Made From Air Pollution

by Rachael Lallensack Smithsonian.com

On a trip to India in 2012, Anirudh Sharma captured a photo of a diesel generator blowing black soot against a white wall. That dark, triangular stain made Sharma, who was then a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, think seriously about pollution—and also about pigments, like ink.

The black ink we use in our pens or in inkjet printers is essentially made from soot. The technical term for the substance is “carbon black,” and it is the powder that remains after burning coal or oil. The powder is mixed with a polymer and a solvent to turn it into smooth, flowing black rollerball ink.

“So, if you can do it with soot, can we do the same with air pollution?” Sharma explains. “The black color in the pen you use is made by burning fossil fuels to make ink. But you shouldn’t need to burn new fossil fuels just to make ink. Fossil fuels are already being burned.”

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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