World’s Whitest Paint Makes it into the Guinness World Records

Cryptocurrency has taken the digital world by storm, with over 1,000,000 individual users mining Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies with their computer rigs, no matter how small or powerful. A new report, on the other hand, details the hidden costs of cryptocurrency transactions.

A single transaction of Bitcoin produces 272 grams (9.59 ounces) of electronic waste, equal to the weight of two iPhones being thrown away – and when scaled up to the enormous number of transactions per year, Bitcoin now produces 30.7 metric kilotons of e-waste a year.

The paint, which has been published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, is made of barium sulfate, which is commonly used in paper and cosmetics. The new paint arrived just months after the announcement of an ultra-white paint that could reflect 95.5 percent of solar radiation last October. These ultra-white paints are considered the opposite of vantablack, which absorbs 99.9 percent of light.

“In our experiment, the new paint doubles the cooling power of the previous one,” senior author Professor Xiulin Ruan from Purdue University previously told IFLScience.

World’s Whitest Paint Makes it into the Guinness World Records

One exciting test demonstrated that even during the strong sunlight noon hour’s material covered in the new ultra-white paint was 4.4°C (8°F) cooler than ambient temperatures. It was even better at night, when the material kept a temperature of 10.5°C (19°F) below the surrounding areas. “Conventional air conditioners consume power that is often from burning fossil fuel. Meanwhile, while they move the heat from inside of a house to the outside, they turn the electricity into heat and leave even more heat to the ambient and earth, further causing a heat island effect and warming up the Earth,” Professor Ruan told IFLScience.

“In contrast, our paint does not consume any power, and directly sends off all the heat to the deep space, hence helping cooling down the Earth. Painting 0.5-1 percent of the Earth’s surface (roofs, roads, cars, unused land, etc.) with our paint will stop the warming trend, according to a previous model.”

Painting many human-made structures would be an excellent way to combat the climate crisis in a variety of ways, including passive cooling and reducing reliance on electricity. The paint is not yet available commercially but its composition is compatible with commercial paint processes and can handle being outdoors.