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Graviky Labs

Turning air pollution into ink

Sector: Futuremakers
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Graviky Labs is a MIT spinoff working in developing cleantech solutions. Graviky captures air pollution and turn it into inks. It has developed KAALINK, a retrofit technology which captures carbon emissions from vehicles or chimneys before it enters our atmosphere. The captured pollutants are then recycled into inks, AIR-INK

Air pollution isn’t something most people like to keep around. It kills around 7 million people annually, according to the World Health Organization.

MIT spin-off Graviky Labs is stock­piling soot emitted by diesel-­burning engines to recycle into black ink. “Pollution is bad, but pollution happens to be a really good raw material to make inks,” says Graviky co-founder Anirudh Sharma. “Our mission is to up-cycle carbon emissions for global sustainability through new material innovation”

Most of the black ink we use in pens and printer cartridges comes from burning fossil fuels. To reduce that, and cut existing pollution, Sharma and his team came up with a technology called KAALINK that harnesses one of the world’s most health-­damaging particulates, known as PM 2.5.

The carbon from that pollution is then transformed into a certified-safe AIR-INK pigment that can be used in pens, textiles, packaging and artwork. For now, AIR-INK is commercially available only in marker form. But in the coming months, Graviky plans to launch an online platform for customized printing.

KAALINK™ is patent pending retrofit technology used to capture air pollution particulate. Depending upon several conditions, the unit captures up to 99% of the particular matter pollution without inducing back-pressure on the engines. ​ It is currently in an advanced prototype stage, and can be designed to fit diesel generators and other fossil fuel chimney stacks, and is presently under testing process and commercial pilots, and available for private demonstrations. The unit works hard to capture outgoing pollutants, and is designed with heat and water-proof electronics and materials.  It can also capture pollution from the ambient air and can be customized for all sizes and use-cases for outdoor pollution capture.

Here is an extract from a recent article in SBR magazine:

Engineer Anirudh Sharma has come up with a creative approach. While walking in Mumbai in 2013, the MIT Media Lab student and “chronic inventor” noticed that the plumes of diesel exhaust emitted by buses and cars were staining his clothing black.

“I thought: what if we could cleverly recycle all this soot that is making the world dirty, and use the pigment to make something beautiful, like ink?” Sharma says.

He formed a startup called Graviky Labs and has spent the past three years developing an exhaust filter that can capture 95% of the carbon soot from cars, generators and ferries and turn it into ink and paint. The result is Air-Ink, the world’s first line of art supplies made from air pollution. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign last month, the startup’s oil-based paints, markers and spray cans are set to ship in June. Sharma is now travelling to smog-choked cities around the world and challenging 19 street artists to create billboards and murals illustrating the effects of carbon waste, starting in London.



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