Tiger Beer, has been using Air-Ink™, the world’s first ink created from air pollution, to create a giant billboard on Shaftsbury Avenue. An extension of a 2016 pilot project in Hong Kong, this new initiative sees Tiger Beer driving creative collaborations between Anirudh Sharma, inventor of Air-Ink™ and co-founder of Graviky Labs, and emerging artists from across seven cultures to showcase this breakthrough technology to the world.
How Air-Ink™ is made (taken from: http://www.graviky.com/air-ink1.html)
Air Ink uses proprietary technology, KAALINK to capture soot emitted from vehicles. KAALINK is a contraption retrofitted to the exhaust pipe of vehicles to capture the outgoing pollutants. This does not affect vehicle’s engine performance.
Soot collected by KAALINK undergoes various proprietary processes to remove heavy metals and carcinogens. The end product is purified carbon based pigment.
During the final stage, the carbon is taken through another chemical process to make different types of inks and paints.
Each stage had its own challenges: figuring the optimum technique for harvesting pollution from vehicles; challenges of operating; removal of heavy metals; dealing with carcinogens; and then optimizing product mix for development of variety of inks and paints.
Tiger Beer working with Air-Ink™
Since its launch in 2016, the initiative has seen over 770 litres of Air-Ink™ harvested – the carbon emissions equivalent of continuously driving a typical diesel vehicle for 2.3 years. It also has the potential to be scaled up, for example if the devices were fitted to all London diesel black cabs it could save 10-15% of particulate emissions.
Demonstrating the power of creativity with purpose, 19 international artists will join this year’s global movement to transform the collected pollution into beautiful Air-Ink™ artworks symbolising a bright future for our cities’ streets, and inspiring others to take action.
“Tiger Beer believes in supporting people across cultures with brave ideas, and partnering with them to uncage the tiger spirit within us all to create awareness and positive change for issues affecting our communities. Following the encouraging response to our Air-Ink™ pilot in Hong Kong, we wanted to further our support of Anirudh and Graviky’s mission against the worldwide issue of air pollution and showcase how street creativity can make a difference. By bringing artists and inventor together, we turned the world into a canvas for Anirudh’s message in a beautiful and transformative way, one we hope will inspire people and community leaders to get behind the cause andbenefit from the technology,” says Mie-Leng Wong, Global Director at Tiger Beer, HEINEKEN Asia Pacific.
Anirudh Sharma, inventor of Air-Ink™ and co-founder of Graviky Labs comments: “Growing up in India and experiencing the effects of air pollution first-hand motivated me to think of ways to turn this harmful pollution into something useful – purified, safe ink. After initial research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we spent a lot of time perfecting the technology and our ink at Graviky. Now, seeing artworks created with Air-Ink™ and displayed in major cities of the world is truly an exciting step for me and my team. Abeautiful fusion between technology, science, and art, this collaborative initiative with Tiger has taken our technology further than I could have imagined.”Graviky’s hope is that this demonstration will inspire a city or municipality to conduct their own pilot program together in the near future.
Delivering creativity from the streets, for the streets, consumers can encounter Air-Ink™ artworks in iconic city locations, in addition to experiencinglive Air-Ink™ painting sessions bycutting edge artists over a cold Tiger Beer at bars and pop-up galleries around the cities.
The giant billboard on Shaftsbury Avenue was drawn by hand over 4 days by Kristopher Ho who said, “Being able to draw with what’s essentially purified soot has been a fascinating experience and a great way to bring attention to the massive issue of air pollution. It has been really meaningful to to work with Anirudh and Tiger Beer and be a part of this creative global community, which I see as a perfect fusion of art and science. It just goes to show the extent we can all go to make a positive impact on our surroundings.”