Researchers have developed the “whitest paint yet” in an effort to tackle global warming by reducing the need for air conditioning.
According to a team of Purdue University engineers, the “ultra-white paint” can reflect 98% of sunlight, an increase from the previous ultra-white paint that can reflect 95.5% of sunlight.
“Our paint can help fight against global warming by helping to cool the Earth — that’s the cool point,” Ruan said in a report by British news website The Guardian.
“Producing the whitest white means the paint can reflect the maximum amount of sunlight back to space,” Ruan also said.
According to the researchers’ study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces on April 15, the new white paint can cool building surfaces by as much as 10.5 degrees Celsius.
“If you were to use this paint to cover a roof area of about 1,000 square feet, we estimate that you could get a cooling power of 10 kilowatts. That’s more powerful than the central air conditioners used by most houses,” Mechanical Engineering Professor Xiulin Ruan said in a statement.
“In other words, on certain days in the summer, you probably don’t need to turn on your air conditioner at all,” Ruan told Vice magazine in a call.
Ruan also said that the paint was not harmful to people’s eyesight.
“Our surface reflects the sunlight diffusely, so the power going in any particular direction is not very strong. It just looks bright white, a bit whiter than snow,” Ruan said.
The researchers explained that they used a high concentration of barium sulfate, which is used to make photo paper and cosmetics white, to give the paint its “extreme whiteness.”
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