Researchers develop the whitest paint in the world that could reduce the need for air conditioning

Researchers develop the whitest paint in the world that could reduce the need for air conditioning
Purdue University
  • An ultra-white paint developed at Purdue University can reflect sunlight and make the room cooler.
  • It can reflect 98.1% of solar radiation and also emit infrared heat.
  • This white paint could eliminate the need for air conditioning in houses.
Researchers at Purdue University have developed an ultra-white paint that is said to reduce or even eliminate the need for air conditioning. It’s claimed to be the world’s whitest paint developed at Purdue University, and it has even earned a Guinness World Record. But the idea behind making this paint was to help reduce global warming.

The white paint was invented by Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, and his students. It’s a project seven years in the making with the purpose of saving energy and fighting climate change, according to a press release.

How does the white paint help?

The paint created reflects 98.1% of solar radiation and it also emits infrared heat at the same time. It ends up absorbing less heat from the sun than it emits which lets a surface coated with this paint cool below the surrounding temperature, and that too without consuming power. This paint used to cover a roof area of around 1,000 square feet could result in a cooling power of 10 kilowatts, according to Purdue researchers. This is also considered to be more powerful than the air conditioners used by most houses.

How it’s better than other white paint


The commercial white paint that we get actually gets warmer than cooler. Also, the paints that are designed to reject heat reflect only 80% to 90% of the sunlight and can’t make surfaces cooler than their surroundings.

Why is it so white?

Since the paint is very reflective it also resulted in being really white. The researchers explained that there is a very high concentration of barium sulfate, a chemical that is used in photo paper and cosmetics. There are different particle sizes of barium sulfate in the paint and the wider range of sizes help scatter more of the light spectrum from the sun.

Future plans

We could see this white paint hitting the market soon as the researchers have partnered with a company to scale up production. The researchers have also filed patent applications for this white paint. There is strong seriousness on making this white paint available for commercial use which could help eliminate the use of air conditioners and thereby help reduce power consumption.


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