Team:Lethbridge HS/Applied Design

Green Technology

SynthetINK's advantage in the global marketplace is its sustainability. Our method of pigment production will have little to no byproducts which will allow us to appeal to the environmentally friendly consumer base. The only byproducts of our pigment production will be carbon dioxide from the bacteria growing, and the cellular debris from the filtration of the pigments. Specifically, our product will have the advantage over carbon black and other inorganic pigments in that we do not require the burning of petroleum or other harmful processes for the production of the colorant.

Shift towards renewable energy

In recent times the world has been shifting away from practices that are harmful to the environment and investing in more renewable sources of energy (this is shown in Figure 1). This change towards renewable energy will result in a reduction in the amount of petroleum being burned for energy. The decrease in the use of petroleum will result in a reduction of the carbon black available for use in its associated industries. This is where SynthetINK will fit into the global landscape. Our environmentally friendly practices will allow us to fulfill the need for pigments within the evolved green energy society.

Figure 1: Graph of investment in alternative energy from 2003 to 2015(3)

Methods of Ink Production

Method Summary Positive Aspects Negative Aspects
SynthetINK Production of biological pigments using synthetic biology. After DNA is in the cells, media is the only cost

Little to no by-products

More applicable in a world heading towards green energy
Expensive startup

Unlikely to do well against existing industry giants
Chemical Synthesis The combining of many industrial chemicals to result in a colorant Evolution of the industry has resulted in cheap production Harmful byproducts
Plant Extraction Growing pigmented plants for harvest and extraction of pigments. Provides oxygen from plants. Requires large areas of land

Time consuming
Carbon black production Incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons Industry evolution has allowed it to be cheap Numerous harmful byproducts (including large amounts of greenhouse gases)


1)Manufacturing Process of Carbon Black. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2017, from

2) (2017). BBC Bitesize - GCSE Chemistry - Products and effects of combustion - Revision 1. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Oct. 2017].

3) GLOBAL TRENDS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT 2015. (2015). Frankfurt: UNEP Global Trends In Renewable Energy Investment.


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