October 16, 2007
A new technology for the dyeing of paints and fabrics may be in the future thanks to this miraculous little algae-wheel called a diatom. Diatoms are a type of algae or phytoplankton traces back to the Jurassic Era that are encased within a wall made of silica. It is this silica casing which holds the potential for a more environmentally friendly color change for textiles and paint.
“The hard silica shells act like crystals — depending on the configuration of the holes in the shell, the color changes. The perception of color is maintained without altering the chemical composition of fabric, which is a fundamentally different way of producing color.”
What this means for the environment could be a drastic reduction in the toxic waste produced by chemical dye methods.