Carbon is used as a pigment in black ink and is present in abundance in automobile exhaust. At Singapore-based Graviky Labs, the geeks have merged the one with the other via harvesting carbon from vehicles’ tailpipes to make their own eco-friendly AirInk. At present, it is a subject of a Kickstarter campaign.
At the MIT Media Lab, Air-Ink set out as a 2013 experiment. In the experiment, the candle soot was acquired and repurposed as printer toner. It has evolved with the years.
As per now, it works like this. First of all, the KAALINK, a cylindrical filtration device, is retrofitted to a car’s tailpipe in order to collect a claimed 95 percent of particulates from the exhaust. Then, the soot is processed to get rid of heavy metals and carcinogens. This results in carbon-rich powder which has been reported to be safe to handle and is used as black pigment in the group’s ink.
The process is not favorable for large-scale ink production in its present form. The Graviky Labs intends to change that with the help of earnings from the Kickstarter campaign.
If things will go in accordance with the plan, the pledge levels start at US$25, which will get you a 2mm-tip AirInk marker. It has been notified that 45 minutes worth of emissions are enough to create one fluid ounce of ink, which is enough to fill one of the pens. Complete pen sets and bottled ink for silkscreening are available for higher pledges. Take a look at the Kickstarter page for details.