Chemists at Oregon State University created the world's most flawless blue pigment and say the groundbreaking development was pretty much an accident.
When the perfect color came into being, the team was actually trying to make a material for use in electronics.
They started with manganese oxide (black in color) then added a few other chemicals and threw the mixture into a furnace. What came out was a vivid blue substance.
According to a press release issued by the university, "The vibrant blue is so durable, and its compounds are so stable – even in oil and water – that the color does not fade. These characteristics make the new pigment versatile for a variety of commercial products. Used in paints, for example, they can help keep buildings cool by reflecting infrared light. Better yet...none of the pigment's ingredients are toxic."
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Mas Subramanian, one of the scientists, said, "Ever since the early Egyptians developed some of the first blue pigments, the pigment industry has been struggling to address problems with safety, toxicity and durability."
While the happy accident occurred back in 2009, the coloring agent is only now being made available to manufacturers.
It will largely be used in the making of coatings and plastics.