Scientists reveal breakthrough ‘whitest ever’ paint that could erase the need for air conditioning

The new paint is claimed to reflect 98.1% of sunlight while sending away infrared heat

Festival Net Zero 2021

A new paint that is claimed to be the whitest ever discovered could keep buildings’ surfaces cooler and make residents forget the need for air conditioning.

Purdue University engineers in the US state of Indiana have unveiled a paint that reflects up to 98.1% of sunlight and sends infrared heat away from a surface.

That compares to white paint that is currently found in the market that reflects up to 90% of sunlight and can’t make surfaces cooler than their environment.

According to the research, the paint can keep surfaces 19°F cooler than their surroundings at night and 8°F cooler under strong sunlight during noon hours.

The paint’s properties that could make buildings more energy efficient and shrink the air conditioning-related carbon footprint is owed to a chemical compound, named barium sulfate,  which is also used to make photo paper and cosmetics whiter.

Researchers found that using barium sulfate could make things really reflective.

Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue Professor of Mechanical Engineering, said: “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 10kW.

“That’s more powerful than the central air conditioners used by most houses.”

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