Ink/pigments from spirulina?

I did various experiments last week trying to extract pigments. Yesterdayevening I came home from a short trip and noticed that experiment #7 had developed a blue-isch foam. There was no visible separation of layers in the bottle not even when I put it in front of a strong light. The fluid remained very dark. So I took a pipet and took some of the upper layer and it was blue. Going in about 5cm and the fluid became very dark green again. I spread some of the top layer on a wooden panel and after letting it soak in the wood was nicely stained with a blue color.

Basicly what I have done is blended (10min) 2 tablespoons of dried spirulina in 400ml of demi water. That resulted in a very foamy dark green mix. After letting it settle I added 40ml of methanol and put it in an ultrasonic bath for 20min. The result of that just settled in a bottle on my desk for about 80hours…

Next I tried to boil the water out of the mixture but now when I poured it into a metal pot it became clear that actually two colors; red and blue where in there. They didn’t seem to mix up; the blue more to the sides/bottom and the red on top/middle. I heated the pan up very slowly.. the water first became grey, brown and after a while dark green. Boiling most of the water out resulted in a sticky, dark green, tick paint like, slurry. It smells a bit like smoked fish or baked red meat even.. After scraping it out and letting it airdry for about a day it became at sticky emulsion, like mastic… Easy to roll sticky balls with to plug holes or something.

Next experiments; see what else I can color with the blue water, try to separate blue and red, try to extract in pure (bio)ethanol, dissolve paste in glycerol and use as ink,…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s