In a planet where water is gold, each drop of it is precious. And any idea that calls for being the savior of this form of ‘liquid gold’ is always welcome. One such invention that is coming up is Xeros’s eco-friendly washing machine that saves upto 90% water. They plan to achieve this by using nylon beads that tumble wash clothes using 90% less water as well as less detergent as compared to conventional washing machines.
The clothes are to be dampened before loading them into the machine with nylon beads as cleaning agents. These beads can be later removed and used repeatedly further reducing the amount of detergent and electricity used by the machine. Representative at Xeros say that with this invention, they will be able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The company also claims that it will be able to save up to 1.2 billion tons of water each year.
Although the Xeros polymer cleaning process can be applied both to domestic and commercial sectors, the company is presently working to develop a commercial laundry system designed to wash up to 20 kg per cycle.
Xeros machines achieve their objectives by using small nylon beads which eliminate the stains off the clothes by locking them into the molecular structure of the polymer. The reason for saving electricity and detergent is the fact that the beads can be used for up to hundreds of washes and can be later recycled.
The technology that led to the prototyping of this invention is the brainchild of chemistry textiles professor Stephen Burkinshaw who carried the research over a period of 30 years at Leeds University and has also been used by the Cambridge Consultants for a concept washing machine. After testing the product for more than three years, Kansas City based GreenEarth cleaning is in agreement with Xeros to market the product in North America in 2010. Xeros is now waiting to hit the market with its invention in a £50 billion laundry market.
The cleaning of garments shall involve a six step process – Loading the garments in the machine, tumbling garments along with the beads in the drum, bead separation when the outer drum stops rotating, removal of the beads and their separation, final shake with vacuum and finally using the vacuum wand accessory if necessary. When the beads are saturated with dirt, they can be recycled to other products like car dashboards etc.
Words on the invention
Bill Westwater, Chief Executive, Xeros-”Our ambition is to be a bit like Dyson. As long as the technology delivers the advantages we think it is going to this might become the new technology platform for laundry.”
“This is an exciting time in our plan to offer the world a greener washing system and gives us an impressive location to demonstrate the technology to potential partners.”
“Once our reputation is established and the technology proven we will hopefully be able to produce machines for homes.”
Claire Cunningham, spokesperson for the government-backed Technology Strategy Board –
“Xeros had an interesting and innovative product and the environmental and financial savings were of particular interest when it was selected to take part, along with the 18 other British cleansing technology companies, in the Clean and Cool trade mission.”
Although the invention is still in developmental stage, it is through the prototyping stages. The company aims to launch the product by the end of this year. The first sector that will be targeted is the commercial sector comprising of hotels, laundries and care homes. Later on, the domestic sector shall be ventured into. Though the people still await the launch of the invention, it sure is a noble and intriguing invention that will turn a lot many heads. And it sure is going to make people to ponder over the preciousness of our natural resources.
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