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Green Buildings

New kind of blue pigment has 40 percent heat reflectivity

A recently patented blue pigment has been found to have the ability to reflect heat, making it useful for roofs and building walls to reduce cooling costs.

Discovered by researchers from Oregon State University three years ago, the patent for the compound has been approved and it is now being considered for various commercial applications such as cool roofing.

A new trend in green construction and energy efficiency, cool roofing uses special paints which reflect significant portions of the sun's heat and reduce building cooling costs. Reflective paints used in cool roofing also have an aesthetically pleasing effect, have less thermal degradation, and reduce the "heat island" phenomenon.

The pigment comes from manganese compounds that are heated in a 2,000 degree Fahrenheit oven which causes the metal's molecules to change.

The new blue pigment can reflect heat in the infrared spectrum, which is responsible for most of the heat energy absorbed from sunlight.

"This pigment has infrared heat reflectivity of about 40 percent, which is significantly higher than most blue pigments now being used," said Mas Subramanian, professor of chemistry at Oregon State.

The Office for Commercialization and Corporate Development at Oregon State University is currently seeking licensing partners for the substance.

In the meantime, the researchers will continue to look at the heat reflectance capabilities of the new compound and the underlying molecular structure responsible for it. – EcoSeed Staff

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