An extremely reflective white paint developed by Purdue University scientists could dramatically reduce the need for air conditioning, a big win in the fight against climate change.
Ultrawhite paint was created by a team of scientists led by mechanical engineering professor Xiulin Ruan. The paint absorbs less heat from the sun than it emits, cooling a surface coated with the paint without consuming power.
The paint reflects 98.1% of solar radiation at the same time as emitting infrared heat, making it different than typical commercial white paints, which reflect only 80 to 90% of sunlight and get warmer instead of cooler.
The paint contains a high concentration of barium sulfate, a chemical compound used in photo paper and cosmetics.
According to the researchers, using the new paint to cover a roof area of about 1,000 square feet could result in a cooling power of 10 kilowatts, more powerful than the air conditioners used in most homes.
The researchers said they have partnered with a company to put the paint on the market.