Virtually waterless washing machine heralds cleaning revolution
Researchers are seeking ways to improve washing machines University of Leeds have developed a new way of Cleaning Clothes using less 2Percent water and energy of a conventional washing machine. The revolutionary technology will provide alternatives to both domestic washing and dry cleaning, heralding the first "Almost no water in the world" washing system.
Xeros, a Leeds University spin-outs, is the commercialization of technology with some of the biggest names in the industry washing and dry cleaning.
The process is based on the use of plastic granules (or chips) which are mixed the clothes to remove stains. A series of tests, performed according to protocols of the industry in the world to prove the technology performs the high standards expected in the cleaning industry, show the process can remove virtually all types of everyday stains more effectively existing processes whilst leaving clothes as fresh as a normal wash. In addition, the clothes emerge from the process almost dry, reducing the need dryer.
Xeros' technology uses as little as one cup of water in each wash cycle and could also bring benefits to other industrial processes such as wastewater treatment and metal degreasing.
According to Waterwise, an NGO UK focused on reducing water wastage in the United Kingdom, the use of washing machines rose 23% over the last 15 years, compared to 3 times per week in 1990 to an average of 4 times per week per household today. The average household in the United Kingdom uses almost 21 liters of water daily on clothes washing – 13% of household consumption of water per day. This represents approximately 455 million liters of water per day, enough water to fill 145 Olympic size swimming pools.
Tests are currently underway in the market for dry cleaning to replace certain solvents that are currently used in dry cleaning. Some of these solvents are potentially dangerous, having been linked to certain types of cancer and others are now facing a ban in various states of the United States. The Company believes that its new patented technology eliminates the need for these solvents security that provides dry cleaning and monetary incentives for industry dry cleaning.
A type of washing machine uses about 35 kg of water for every kilogram of clothes are washed – as well as large amounts of energy to heat water and dry clothes after. With environmental concerns becoming more urgent and water becomes a resource increasingly rare, there is an urgent need to reduce the amount of water and energy used for washing clothes.
Technology is fundamental Xeros no change in the life cycle of replacing the textile wash water and effluent treatment plastic chip / polymer. For example, it can be used in the textile dyeing to remove unwanted excess dyes. It can also be used to clean clothing during the lifetime of the garment.
In dry cleaning, the technology can not replace the current cleaning solvent (for Tetrachloroethylene) and results in lower costs of energy, solvents and mandatory regulations under solvent distillation processes. In addition, the technology could be used in household washing machines, in which the amount of water and energy used for washing would considerably reduced. The technology has already been demonstrated in controlled laboratory experiments in laboratories of the Company Leeds. It has also been tested in commercial scale dry cleaning facilities.
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