Remember the almost waterless dishwasher prototype I wrote about last month? Now, there is news of an almost waterless washing machine prototype set to go on the market in 2010. The eco-washing machine is so planet-friendly it could have an “environmental impact of taking two million cars off the road.”
Who do we owe the honors to for this wonderful eco-friendly cleaning innovation? We owe Stephen Burkinshaw, of the University of Leeds. Stephen Burkinshaw is the Professor of Textile Chemistry and director of Xeros, an organization created in 2007 to help spread the word about this new conservative cleaning technology.
The machine works like this: instead of using a lot of water to clean clothes, and yes remove stains as well, the machine only needs 1 cup of water (for humidity purposes only) and thousands of tiny nylon polymer beads. Under humid conditions the beads attract and absorb dirt. Due to the conservation of water and use of these special bead the washing machine uses 30 % less energy and 90% less water than a conventional washing machine to wash clothes.
Also, since the washing machine uses so little water to clean the clothes the clothes come out drier than ever, requiring less use of a conventional drier. This is especially good for those of us who don’t always hang dry our clothes. In addition, the machine requires less detergent per load.
When the cycle is finished the tiny nylon polymer beads are recovered in the washing machine's drum. The beads can then be used again for the next wash and again for the next wash, over and over again. “To prove the technology’s environmental credentials, Xeros commissioned an independent Life Cycle Assessment from URS Corporation. That report found that the process has the potential to display a significantly smaller carbon footprint than that of a conventional wash.”
The new washing machine is planned to be set for sale next year, 2010. Xeros plans to eventually sell these machines to consumers everywhere, but they plan on doing this by first winning over the commercial washing market: hotels, dry cleaners, and so on. As of now Xeros, has signed a deal to sell this washing machine in North America with an environmentally friendly dry-cleaning business called GreenEarth Cleaning.
For more information on the University of Leads this project or Xeros click here. Also watch the demonstration video of the machine in action here.
Via Greenbang and Times Online