Plant-based ink properties and storage stability for inkjet printing

Alka Thakker, Danmei Sun

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In this sustainability-oriented research, the properties of plant-based inks were evaluated denoting the viscosity range of 8.5 to 10 cP, the relative density of 1.06, conductivity value of 2.51 mS/cm, and the surface tension of 60 mN/m and pH of 4.9 to be most effective for inkjet printing. The changes in these properties to the one-month storage phase are detailed as determined with attenuated total reflectance - Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, viscometer, and tensiometer. The varied colours of plant-based inks were stable to storage time except for the blue colour ink made from bio indigo herb that displayed agal-like sediments. After the storage phase, the plant-based inks exhibited anti-thixotropic viscosity except for yellow colour plant-based ink demonstrating thixotropic behaviour. High conductivity values of 18.5 and 15.6 mS/Cm were noted for blue and black colour plant-based inks, indicating their potential for constituting conducting inks; however, the conductivity values dropped to 7.5 and 9.5, respectively, after 1 month. The pH and surface tension were found steady during the storage period. The study of the life cycle analysis of plant-based inks is suggested for future work. The significance of this work in developing plant-based inks for inkjet printing of textiles lies in the convergence of sustainability and innovation. Plant-based inks can offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional synthetic inks that are used currently, which provides a knowledge base for good practises meeting the environmentally conscious in the digital printing of the textile industry. These developed inks from this study can not only reduce the environmental impact but also promote a healthier ecosystem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8099-8117
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number5
Early online date4 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Plant-based inks, digital printing, viscosity, surface tension, conductivity, coffee ring effect


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