Climate and social justice

American researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a new ultra-white paint that can return 98% of the sunlight thanks to materials reflecting violet and ultraviolet light.

By modifying the composition of the white paints that cover buildings, they would absorb less heat from the sun, which would reduce the consumption of air conditioning in buildings, which represents 10% of the electricity produced annually in the world.

Co-author of the study, Jyotirmoy Mandal explained that the usual paints reflect 85% of sunlight thanks to the titanium dioxide they contain, returning visible and near infrared light but absorbing violet and ultraviolet. In order to maximize their cooling effect, barite and teflon, two materials that reflect the latter radiation, should be used. According to the researchers, titanium dioxide can either be replaced by these two materials, or it can be coated with traditional paint.

In short, this ultra-white paint would reflect 98% of the sunlight and reduce the cooling costs of buildings by 50%. Its manufacture would also be easy and simple, which would make its marketing quick and accessible.