Odd Ink – Kaalink

We have markers that can blend colors perfectly, and pens that can accurately copy colors from objects in our surroundings. But what if there was some way that we could have an infinite supply of ink and help the environment? Sounds strange and impossible, right? As it turns out, there’s a solution for this.

As odd as it sounds, a company in India (similar to MIT) is proposing this product as a solution to air pollution problems in Asia. What is the proposed solution though? Turning vehicle exhaust into ink. It’s unique and raises a lot of questions, but our knowledge of the product is currently very limited. What we do know, however, is that it involves what they call a “Kaalink“. The Kaalink is attached to the end of the exhaust pipe, and the device then filters and captures unburned carbon emitted from engine combustion.


According to the tests performed thus far, the Kaalink device is able to capture up to 93% of pollution emitted from standard internal combustion engines. That leaves only 7% for planet Earth to deal with! What about the ink itself? How long does it take to get at least an ounce? Here’s where how much you drive will come into play. It takes about 45 minutes of filtration for a single ounce of ink to be produced. So if you’re only driving around town it’s pretty likely you might not get that ounce for a while depending how long you actually have your car running when out and about.

How exactly these captured carbon emissions are processed is under wraps, but it is reported that the captured carbon comes out as high-quality printing ink that can be sold in both the consumer and industrial markets.

Currently the Kaalink devices must be individually, and manually, installed by the vehicle’s driver. Once the device is full, it can then be traded in at the lab in India. It also typically can collect carbon for up to about two weeks before it needs to be swapped out. Again, it would have to be taken back to the labs in India, thus making the availability and convenience rather… restricted. In order to be truly effective, the device also needs to be scaled up to a more significant size as well as become more supported and available in more areas.

Regardless, the idea is still quite valuable.

For further info: http://www.livescience.com/57802-device-turns-air-pollution-into-printing-ink.html

4 thoughts on “Odd Ink – Kaalink

  1. I really hope this catches on as this would be incredible for everyone involved. The biggest problem would be the inconvenience, so there would need to be more ways of trading a full one in. This could also drop the premium on ink which would be great as it is very expensive now. If this doesn’t make it big, someone else will find an even better way of using this carbon.

  2. This is a very creative way to create ink! It’s quite clever to combine two things that are seemingly unrelated, and solve–for the most part–a couple problems together. I hope that this catches on quickly and that we start seeing these around the world! If only they could do that with other pollution emitters, or at least something similar….

  3. This is a really great idea! Not only would it be extremely environmentally friendly, but, like James said, it would lower the cost of ink, which I agree, currently costs a pretty penny. As someone who lives nowhere near India, I could never benefit from this, however India is one of the world’s most populated countries, so this will definitely do some good in its “native” land. It is always refreshing to hear about unique ways we can continue to be environmentally friendly.

  4. Great idea! I watched the video of this product recently, and it looks very promising. Overall, I think the way people are designing now is very innovative, and it goes beyond a solution for just one problem. Developing a product like this is quite exciting: they are not only dealing with the carbon emissions, but users will receive something good in return. This design thinking is very relevant and valuable because most of us would be part of it as all of us would find a double reward: taking care of our environment and getting ink (which is quite expensive). Also, indirectly, it would solve a side problem which is that a lot of people would rather buy new printers with ink cartridges included before buying new ones, so that’s even a triple solution for the environmental issues we have!

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