A New Blue Pigment to be Used in Paint Discovered

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From Ancient Egypt to the world of the Mayan's, for centuries man has been on a seemingly elusive hunt for a durable, vibrant, blue pigment, one that is not environmentally dangerous, and maintains its color over time. In ancient times, blue was difficult to make, with durability a serious concern, and while the Egyptians and Maya had some pretty good blues, most efforts at creating blue throughout history resulted in inferior, pale colors, and were created at great difficulty and expense.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, scientists finally learned to create the pigments for cobalt blue and Prussian blue. But the compounds used in these pigments were found to possibly be carcinogens, even deadly, with Prussian blue containing high levels of arsenic. Do to the dangers inherent in modern blue pigments, researchers have continued to pursue research for a better blue pigment, as the ancients before them had for thousands of years. Then, in 2009, a discovery was made in the United States that could change the world of blue forever.

While conducting research in the unrelated area of the electronic properties of manganese oxides, researchers as Oregon State University, in collaboration with the Materials Department at the University of California in Santa Barbara, made an interesting discovery - they discovered a new compound, based on manganese, that created a new blue pigment. This compound, when heated to extremely high temperatures, seems to result in a vibrant, durable blue. This blue is intense and bright, and comes without the dangerous chemicals of past efforts.

This newly discovered pigment is safer to manufacture than previous blue pigments, is more durable, and is expected to result in the development of a safe, marketable blue pigment, the likes of which has not yet been seen in human history. This pigment could have numerous applications in everything from ink jet printers, to clothing dyes, to house paint.

The Oregon State University research team was working on research funded by the National Science Foundation when they discovered the new potential pigment, and has since applied for a patent on the pigment blend and process. Their findings were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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