Graviky Lab is an off-shoot of MIT Media Lab, and the company behind the innovation that turns air pollution into ink.
To achieve this they've developed a technology called KAALINK whereby a device is retrofitted onto car and truck engines, chimneys and diesel generators to capture soot, or particulate matter - the stuff responsible for air pollution and its effects on our respiratory health.
Once captured, this soot undergoes a detoxification process to remove any heavy metals and carcinogens, and the purified carbon pigment is extracted which is then turned into a “safe, refillable, high-quality, water resistant markers and screen printing ink.”
Currently designed to fit onto the exhaust pipes of diesel trucks and cars, according to their website the KAALINK unit can capture up to 95 per cent of the particular matter pollution before it enters the air, meaning a potentially huge impact on health and quality of life in our traffic-congested cities.
The technology, which was successfully turned into a reality thanks to a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, according to their website has already helped clean 1.6 trillion litres of air.
Currently available as markers and screen printing ink – they claim that 30ml of Air Ink equates to 45 minutes worth of pollution being prevented - work is underway to release oil based paints, fabric paints and outdoor paints too, which would be able to prevent a much greater amount of particular matter being released into our air.
Although a banning of diesel engines and a switch to renewables-powered electric mobility, together with green infrastructure and trees, can offer the only sustainable and long-term solutions to air pollution in our cities, it's certain that innovations such as Air Ink can be valuable tools in the transition towards an ultimately fossil-free economy, and a proof also that valuable resources can be harvested in the most unlikely places.
You can find out more about Air Ink in this video: