A new eco-friendly sustainable black ink has been launched for textile screen printing, manufactured from organic waste.

Virus Inks has created Virus Rethink Black ink in partnership with Silicon Valley’s Bioforcetech which has developed a bio-dryer system that can turn organic waste into a biochar with high colouring properties.

The manufacturing process starts by taking organic waste earmarked for landfill as food waste and biosolids which otherwise would anaerobically break down, emitting greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The organic components are dried with thermophilic bacteria in the bio-dryer and next submitted to pyrolysis which is a net-zero energy process that exposes materials to high temperatures with an absence of oxygen.

This leads to the creation of biochar which is further processed to be integrated in the production of Virus inks.

The new black ink is described as a high-performance ink that is easy to print with good durability on a wide range of fabrics and materials. It can be used on nylon, synthetic and recycled materials.

Announcing the new Virus Rethink Black, Virus Inks explained: “The vast majority of black inks and dyes used in the various industries are made with a highly polluting pigment called Carbon Black, obtained from the incomplete combustion of heavy oils.

“For each ton of this material produced are emitted in the atmosphere more than three tons of CO2, the main cause of global warming.

“The health risk, the high carbon footprint and the dependency on fossil fuels associated with this material led to a rapid growth of the demand for alternative ecological inks.

“Virus Rethink Black is the new ready-to-use ink with an excellent black of great colour saturation that ensures the best performances in terms of productivity and printing quality comparable to the ones of the best water-based inks.”

Virus Inks, based in Italy, distributes through dealers around the world although it currently supplies direct to the UK.