Petroleum Products: Inks
Ink is the most expensive fluid on the planet. But hey, oil is pretty valuable too, and since the 1960s, petroleum-based solvents have been used in printing and writing inks as a “vehicle” for the ink pigments.
While there are alternatives, many of the inks in ballpoint pens and in our printers are petroleum-based, which experts say has its benefits.
Petroleum-based solvents help both in the dispersal of chemicals in colored inks, and help the inks dry faster. Petro-based resins are also said to enhance gloss.
But with soy-based inks now on the market, the question of which to buy becomes for many one of sustainability. And critics are also quick to point out that petroleum emits volatile organic compounds as it dries (however trace amounts of petro-chemicals are found in the soy-based competitor as well).
Here’s an inspiring video from the Printing Ink Company on how ink is made; a truly beautiful and colorful short, set to the background of a symphony. This guy loves his job.