External paints obviously affect the insulation of a house. Considering this, researchers at NTU discovered the potential of recycled plastics in making cool paint sustainable.

A research team from Nanyang Technological University has developed new methods to create a type of cool paint using recycled plastics. Acrylic, polystyrene foam, and old PVC pipes were recycled plastic items used along with barium sulphate. These methods will not only help in cooling tropical environment temperatures but will also lead to effective plastic waste management.

1st Method

Termed as sol-gel, in this method the research team mixed recycled plastics with barium sulphate (BaSO4) for creating the cool paint.


  • Cool paint was tested on the rooftop of a building in Singapore.
  • When exposed to direct sunlight, the new coating dropped 1.2° C below than the surrounding air temperature.
  • During the night, the paint’s temperature dropped 3° C below the ambient temperature.
  • The new cool coating is capable of reflecting 97.7% of sunlight.
  • Around 95% of the sun’s heat is reflected in the infra-red band by this cool paint.

2nd Method

In this phase inversion method, cool paint was also made from recycled plastics and barium sulfate. However, this time, the focus was to create tiny air-filled holes in recycled plastics making them porous. It was done during the production process as these pores help to scatter sunlight across its spectrum.


  • As per the results, surfaces coated with this paint almost matched the surrounding air temperature at noon.
  • At night, the temperature drops by around 2.5° C below the ambient temperature.

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The newly developed cool paint outperforms commercially available cool paints as they do not efficiently reduce surface temperatures below ambient. With further investigations, it shows that the approach by NTU’s team reduces the need to sort different types of plastics.

Source: Cool paint made sustainable using recycled plastics


Elliot is a passionate environmentalist and blogger who has dedicated his life to spreading awareness about conservation, green energy, and renewable energy. With a background in environmental science, he has a deep understanding of the issues facing our planet and is committed to educating others on how they can make a difference.

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