General Studies IIIScience and Tech

Whitest paint


Researchers have developed a whitest version of the colour which has the potential to reflect 99 percent of sunlight.


The buildings coated with the paint will cool the building enough without the need for air conditioning.


  • The older formula of making white paint involves use of calcium carbonate, while the newer version makes use of barium sulphate.
  • The new paint is whiter and has the ability to keep the painted area cooler in comparison to the older formula.
  • The researchers say that it may be the closest equivalent to blackest paint called ‘Vanta black, which can absorbs 99.9 percent of visible light.
  • The currently available commercial white paint gets warmer rather than cooler because it can emit only about 80-90 percent of sunlight and hence cannot make surfaces cooler.

Reason for whiter compound

  • The team of researchers have used more efficient barium sulphate which is used in making photo paper and cosmetics white.
  • The team has used different sizes of particles while making the compound. This ensures that different sizes scatter different amounts of light. 


  • The paints can cool the buildings by about 13 degree from surrounding buildings even under strong afternoon sunlight.
  • The amount of energy needed for running fans and air conditioners can be significantly cut down due to usage of the paint.

Source: Indian Express

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