Circular Economy



Recycling air pollution into industrial-grade inks and pigments

Team Lead

Anirudh Sharma

Solution Pitch

The Problem

Every year, more than 4 million people die as a result of exposure to outdoor air pollution. Much of this pollution comes from fossil fuels; when fossil fuels burn, they produce carbon-rich atmospheric particles (also known as PM2.5) that pollute the air. Meanwhile, the ink-making process relies on carbon black as a raw material, making it dependent on fossil fuels.  

The Solution

To prevent these particles from polluting the air, the Graviky Labs team recycles this pollution and turns it into Air-Ink: hydrated, industrial-grade pigments and inks. Graviky Labs’ technology retrofits onto the exhaust of generators and small chimney stacks to capture carbon pollution. Then, through a proprietary process, Graviky Labs turns these particles into a high-grade pigment that’s used to create ink. 

Polluters are incentivized to work with Graviky Labs, as they would otherwise have to pay for waste management companies to remove their carbon pollution. And because Air-Ink uses recycled raw materials, it reduces the printing industry’s reliance on fossil fuels—making it a win-win solution for all partners. 

Market Opportunity 

India lost over 8.5 percent of its GDP in 2013 due to air pollution. The global digital textile printing inks market was valued at $698 million in 2016, and it is expected to reach $2.1 billion by 2023. This is further driven by a growing demand for organic dyes and pigments. Air-Ink provides a low-carbon alternative to conventional inks and dyed polymers to create more sustainable textiles.

Partnership Goals

Air-Ink currently seeks:

  • Mentorship for funding and business development as it scales its model and products to multiple geographies and markets;
  • Materials science and chemistry experts to refine the ink and create new applications; and
  • Continued exposure to artists and brands to showcase the ink.

Organization Highlights

Some of Air-Ink’s notable achievements include:

  • Participation in the Shell Make the Future Singapore festival, 2018;
  • Recognition for innovation by TED Global, Edison Awards, Cannes Gold, London Design Museum, D&AD Award for Packaging Design; and 
  • Selection as a Foreign Policy Magazine Top 100 Global Thinker, 2016. 

Existing Partnerships

Air-Ink currently partners with a wide range of organizations, from major corporations to local artists, to increase the use of its ink, such as:

  • In a partnership with Mastercard and Doconomy, Air-Ink provides the ink for a line of climate action credit cards;
  • Heineken has collaborated with Air-Ink to provide ink to 19 global artists creating inspirational murals; and 
  • Air-Ink is in conversation with General Motors to find ways to use the ink in GM supply chains. 


About 45 minutes of diesel car pollution produces 30 milliliters of Air-Ink.

Solver Team

Organization Type:

Boston, MA, USA


Working in:
USA, India



Solution Team:

  • Anirudh Sharma Co-Founder and Lead Scientist, MIT Media Lab


Recycling Air Pollution into Industrial Inks

Solver Air-Ink received the $25,000 GM Prize on Circular Economy from Member General Motors in 2019 to recycle air pollution into industrial-grade inks and pigments.


Recycling Air Pollution into Industrial Inks

Solver Air-Ink, which recycles air pollution into industrial-grade inks and pigments, received a $10,000 grant from Solve in 2019 for being selected as a Circular Economy Solver.

to Top