air ink

What do you do when all you can see are negatives, you take charge and turn those negatives into positives. While most of us constantly worry about the rapidly increasing pollution situation in the country, a Bangalore-based startup called Graviky Labs has decided to take stock of the situation and has successfully created paint and ink from pollution itself.

Developed by Anirudh Sharma, the concept of Air Ink was born out of a discussion Anirudh was having with his colleagues about the stains left behind on their clean, expensive clothes, courtesy the heavy air pollution problem in his city.

Anirudh and his team have built a contraption that is connected to the exhaust on the tail pipe of a vehicle. Once they’re done collecting the raw carbon, the soot, they take it through a purification process and successfully convert that air pollution into printing ink. According to the team, the same procedure can be done using chimneys or boats to collect effluence and then convert that into ink.


Having joined hands with Tiger Beer, the famous Heineken Asia Pacific-owned alcohol brand, the startup has already made 150 litres of Tiger Air Ink from air pollution.

In order to get some clarity on the feasibility of the concept, it would be interesting to know that a simple 7mm round tip pen consists of approximately 40 minutes of pollution by a diesel car.

In order to test their product, Graviky and Tiger have collaborated with ten artists, all based out of Hong Kong. According to Sharma, interacting with people from different disciplines opens one up to views and ideas about ones own technology, something they wouldn’t have been able to imagine themselves.

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Interestingly, Graviky isn’t the only one which has tried to use art as a weapon against the 21st century, man-made evil called pollution. A lot of artists all around the globe have also made some concrete efforts on the same lines as Graviky.

Daan Roosegaarde, a Netherlands based artist and innovator, is all prepared to test his marvellous invention, a seven-metre-tall air purifier, this month. Being called the “smog free tower,” the $125,000 worth air purifier can easily eliminate up to 80% of pollution present in an area almost same as the size of a football field, that too in a duration of just 36 hours.

The project has already been piloted by Roosegaarde in Rotterdam. The carbon particles that are collected from the air are compressed and sealed into cuff links, acrylic rings, and various other designs. They’re then sold to raise funds for further research and construction.

Commissioned by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, the project has already found its takers in various other cities like Mexico City, Mexico; Santiago, Chile as well India’s Mumbai and capital city New Delhi.

One of the most interesting approaches to clean air till date belongs to Canadian startup Vitality Air. The startup earned headlines in all the major newspaper publications all around the globe when it started selling bottles of fresh air, that too at a price point of whopping $15.

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