Two students of a school in Rajkot have developed an eco-friendly ink from vegetables and fruits which can replace the synthetic petrochemical-based ink used in sketch pens.
Following six-month long experiments to formulate the special ink, Pooja Dholakia and Ridhi Dasani of Rajkot's S. G. Dholakia school in Gujarat, were successful at deriving ink from fruits and vegetables. Both the girls are standard nine students.
During experiments, the ink was extensively tested for retention of originality of the colour on paper as well as cloth. Its shelf life was also ascertained.
"Vegetable dyes are also used in fabric printing. So we thought to use it in sketch pens as well. So we tried to analyze what happens from the colours extracted from vegetable and flowers. When we experimented, we got many colours, and hence, we initiated the project," said Pooja Dholakia
The duo has formulated six natural eco-friendly ink colours by crushing beetroots, turmeric and coriander and motley of other vegetables. The inks are suitable for sketch pens and markers.
The idea to extract ink from vegetables and fruits struck Pooja' mind after she noticed some young students at her school licking ink from sketch pens. She made up her to do something for the safety of all others. She consulted with her friend Ridhi and both of them experimented.
"These girls thought that why not they use the natural colours instead of the petroleum-based colours and extracted the colours from fruits and vegetables to inject the same colours in the sketch pens and use them. Hence they did this and then we began our experiments," said Krishnakant Dholakiya, Trustee, S. G. Dholakia School.
Pooja and Ridhi documented each stage of their experiments and finally prepared a project report. They wrote their report in five colours prepared by them.
Both of them won the first prize at the National Science Fair held in Pune last month. The three-day event was organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology, CII and chipmaker Intel.
"Students have already prepared seven colours, but we want to make more colours because in the market today, there are 12 colours of sketch pens available. So we believe that these students will prepare at least 12 colours from different vegetables. They will work day and night to prepare these 12 colours and present them at the International Science Fair to be held in Atlanta," said Mitul Dholakia, the school principal.
The inks were sent to the various laboratories like Saurashtra University, M. S. University, Baroda and Gujarat State Food and Drug Control Department and the reports of analysis have been very encouraging.