Cool Paint for a Cool Planet: Ultra-white paint developed by Purdue University research team to combat global warming

A new avatar is all set to go commercial with thinner consistency that can be sprayed on vehicles, refrigerators and even spacecraft.

Published: 27th November 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2022 03:18 PM   |  A+A-

Ultra-white paint 

Ultra-white paint for representational purposes

Express News Service

Now an aeroplane, a train, or even a car idling on a tarmac, station or car park won’t need to turn on the air-conditioning on a hot, sunny day. There is a paint available now that will do it for you. The ultra-white paint was developed by a research team led by Xiulin Ruan at Purdue University late last year initially to combat global warming.

Purdue University professor Xiulin Ruan
with the ultra-white paint

A new avatar is all set to go commercial with a thinner consistency that can be sprayed on vehicles, refrigerators and even spacecraft. The whitest paint ever on record, its average cooling power is 113 watts per square meter and reflects 98.1 per cent of sunlight to keep surfaces cool by up to seven degree Celsius.

The cooling component is a shade below the original paint developed last year. The fact that it is 80 per cent lighter makes it an ideal coating for spacecraft.

Researchers believe that the paint could reduce our reliance on air-conditioners in the near future. Unlike other heat-rejecting white paints on the market made with titanium dioxide, the one developed by Purdue University uses barium sulfate, a known UV-reflecting compound.

The component is already being used in the manufacture of cosmetics, reflective photo paper, oil paints, X-ray examinations and other applications.

The miracle substance is a climate warrior too because according to the experimental model, covering just 0.5 to 1 per cent of the Earth’s surface with the ultra-white paint can help tackle global warming.
How cool is that!

Why is the paint better than AC?

Reducing reliance on air-conditioners obviously means lower electricity consumption. As a result, the paint may indirectly contribute to less burning of fossil fuels. Also, air-conditioners are known to work on the principle of convection.

To keep interiors cool, they push the hot air outside, which stays around in the surroundings, making them hotter. The new paint, on the other hand, works on the principle of radiation. It sends electromagnetic waves, which do not stay in the environment but pass through the atmosphere into deep space.

At least, that is the theory.


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