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POLLUTION BECOMES ART: turning carbon emissions into ink

From centuries, art has played a central role in the life and development of entire populations. In this sense, art constituted a pedagogical vehicle based on images, references and colors.

Nowadays it seems that this aspect of art is not central anymore; in fact, art is now detached from every-day life.

However, also the way of doing art can change; it can evolve and, why not, it can go back to “teach” how to respect the environment through the conscious use of resources.

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This is the idea behind the project of Anirudh Sharma, a MIT Media Lab researcher, together with the Graviky Labs researchers. The project aims to the development of a technology that turns carbon emissions into ink.

Sharma has in fact created a device, called Air-Ink, which captures toxic pollutants and transforms them in clean ink. This process is possible by retrofitting another device, called Kaalink, to the exhaust pipe of vehicles, which captures the 95% of outgoing particulate matter.

All the recovered material is then chemically processed until the ink is synthesized. The resulting product is non-toxic and waterproof. In fact, the ink is obtained through the condensation of unburned carbon soot (one of the main causes of air pollution).

After the production of Air-Ink, Graviky Labs has supported the creation of several artistic products, with the aim of sponsoring “green art”. Air-Ink represents an excellent way to use and mitigate air pollution. Most importantly, thanks to this device, it is possible to transform 45 minutes of car emissions in a full charge for a 30 ml ink marker.

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From degrade to re-creation. This is the main message behind the innovative system supported by Air-Ink, which turns in reality the words of Buckminster Fuller: “Pollution is nothing but resources we’re not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value”.

Revolution starts exactly from here: pollution and all the other toxic agents, which we have in vain tried to get rid of, may be controlled and recycled in a virtuous and positive manner and, why not, turned into art.