Explore the realm of sustainable interior architecture and circular design with Chaline Church, Founding Partner, Interior Architect, and Circular Materials Specialist at 540 WORLD & FreeSpace Design UK.
CO2 absorbent paint:
As consumers, we see all sorts of claims these days that it can be hard to recognise what’s actually worth getting excited about. CO2 absorbing paint is a crazy advancement in technology and environmentally positive possibilities. But it’s still not too well known, and many consumers probably dismiss it as clever marketing rather than recognising it as mind-blowing innovation.
CO2 absorbing paint is real.
The personal cost of petrochemical paints
Most traditional paints, those acrylics and vinyls you’d find at any old hardware store, are made from petrochemicals. They’re oil-based. They emit vast amounts of CO2 during production, and then off-gas toxins during painting and even for months after application, in addition to other harmful emissions, such as VOCs.
Not only do these emissions harm the planet, but they’re also very bad for personal health. The accumulation of these emissions negatively impacts Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). For some time after applying petrochemical-based paints, the places you sleep, work and relax are all suffering from dangerous toxins that can be harmful to health.
Lime paint’s reabsorption properties
Lime and mineral paints have long been used as natural paint alternatives that are kinder to human health and the environment. The benefit of lime paints is in the “lime cycle”.
Lime is not immune from giving off CO2 in the heating process, but rather than continuing to emit, lime reabsorbs CO2 during the curing process, returning it to its former state. The CO2 initially emitted in the heating process is essentially recovered within the calcium carbonate. This effect is entirely the credit of nature. It dries back over time with no pollution or environmental impact.
Lime-based paints are close to carbon-neutral. And they’re a huge improvement on plastic-based paint systems that continue to emit rather than reabsorb toxins and VOC’s. And lime-based paints are CO2 absorbing at the point of application. That means whichever room the paint was applied to is benefiting from an entirely natural air purification process-co2 absorbent paint.
Enhancing the capability of lime-based paints
Limewash and other lime-based paints are nothing new, but there is always a reason why natural products struggle to get the same adoption of synthetic alternatives. For a long time, synthetics were the more heavy-duty option. They were cheaper, had a better range of colours, and were more durable.
Without a good knowledge of environmental impacts, then cost, range, and durability were the obvious factors influencing which paint you preferred to purchase. Even today, with environmental consciousness growing, product standards are high. People need the best of both worlds. So at Graphenstone we made exactly that.
Graphenstone developed a range of paints using a base of lime for all the CO2 absorbing, natural benefits. Then we added Graphene, another natural carbon-based element that offers the huge benefit of strength and flexibility.
Conscious of the initial emissions that come from lime-based paint production, Graphenstone readdresses the balance by:
- Using olive pits in the heating processes – a by-product of local olive farming
- Using a factory based on 100% renewable energy for all manufacturing of our paint
- Reusing wastewater in a closed-loop system. Any water that leaves the factory is tested and of drinking quality
- Using recycled material that is 100% recyclable for all packaging.
The entire Carbon footprint of Graphenstone paints – raw material source to end of manufacture – has been certified as 0,5 kg CO2e/ud per litre. Add back the reabsorption factor from the lime cycle as the paint cures and reabsorbs CO2, and this is even further reduced. Three pots of Graphenstone 15-litre paints absorb over 15kg (>5kg per 15-litre pot)-co2 absorbent paints.
These absorption properties have earned Graphenstone paints a Cradle to Cradle Institute Gold certification, from one of the most prestigious ‘harm-free’ product evaluators worldwide.