Green ink in all colours – printing ink from renewable resources

Over the last years many printing ink manufacturers moved toward more sustainable inks.

Water-based and UV-curing systems have already started to replace solvent-based inks -

Drivers for this development are besides resource scarcity and a higher legislative burden, an increasing environmental awareness throughout the population and as a result a growing demand for inks with a small ecological foot print.

Inks allow for reduced drying times

Thus, water-based and UV-curing systems have already started to replace solvent-based inks, which results in a reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOC) released during the printing process. In addition, materials derived from renewable resources, are more frequently used to replace petrochemical ink ingredients, such as polymeric binders, solvents and different additives. These developments often go hand in hand with an economical benefit as these inks allow for reduced drying times and lower equipment cost to name but a few. Nonetheless, many inks are still mainly derived from petrochemical feedstock.

This review gives an overview of the developments in the field of printing inks derived from renewable materials, discusses advantages and drawbacks of the systems described and addresses problems unsolved so far.

The study is published in: Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 78, January 2015, Pages 287-292.

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