The idea came up when all alga life’s team were having a conversation about the amount of money we spend each semester to buy ink cartridges to print our lectures. Later the conversation was moved to the impact ink has on the environment and our health.We did our research and we came to know that the elements found ink are petroleum and plant based. The problem with the petroleum elements that it is cancerogenic and causes neurological damage in the long term. The plant-based (example soybean- based ink), consumers humungous amounts of resources such as 385 pounds of lime, 43 pounds of pesticides and fertilizers, 700,000 gallons of water, 5 gallons of fuel for machines to produce 70 gallons of soybean oil that are then mixed with petroleum ingredients. We came to imagine the amount of carbon dioxide produced during this long process just to produce ink! Is it worth it to dig down deep the earth to get crude oil and cut off plants that take in problem causing carbon dioxide to produce the oxygen we depend on to live? Is the question we asked ourselves.
We did not forget about the saying of his Highness Mohmmad bin zayed the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. In 50 years, we are going to celebrate the last barrel of crude oil in the United Arab Emirates. The current process of making the ink wasn’t convenient for us as we are all chemical engineering students and taking care of the environment is our core belief. The question was changed in our curious brain until one day we were discussing it with one of the professors in the chemical engineering department Dr.Zafar Mohammad Iqbal and he said what about using algae to make an environmental ink. I remember seeing sparkles in alga life’s team eyes. It was the moment, I knew that we have a mission to accomplish and bring up change.
We did our research and entered the world of algae that we will never be able to emerge from. Algae is a plant with no roots which means no cutting of trees and destroying our eco-system, grows very quickly by four basic elements. Recycled water, global warming causing carbon dioxide, the abundant sunlight and simple nutrients. Amazingly, algae convert carbon dioxide to oxygen 10% more than any plant on this planet. It comes in the variety of colors such as blue, green, yellow, brown, red. Are primary colors to obtain any other color.
With all the gathered information, we came to know that we are able to create a 100% eco-friendly ink while protecting our health and saving the environment. The project is scalable, in the future we will be able to make algae-based biofuels, lights, cosmetics, medicines, etc. We believe the future will run on algae.