Polymer Scientists at Leeds University in UK working in collaboration with Xeros Ltd have designed a new cleaning process that can literally tumble the whole washing industry. The process, called Xeros Cleaning, utilizes nylon polymers inherent polarity to attract dirt stains from the fabric. Xeros website gives the following description for the process.
The nylon polymer has an inherent polarity that attracts stains. Think of how your white nylon garments can get dingy over time as dirt builds up on the surface despite constant washing. However, under humid conditions, the polymer changes and becomes absorbent. Dirt is not just attracted to the surface, it is absorbed into the centre. This is exactly what happens when Xeros nylon beads are gently tumbled with dampened garments.
The biggest benefit of the process is that it requires 90% less water compared to the conventional machines. According to their estimate if installed in the US households, these machines are set to 1.2 billion tonnes of water every year. Due to the lesser electricity and detergent consumption the machines also reduces carbon footprint by 40% compared to the standard machines. Drawing an analogy to US households again, this is equivalent to taking 5 millions cars off road!
Here are videos released by Xeros explaining the details and demonstrating the prototypes:
We’re sure all the consumer appliance manufacturers are trying hard to compete with them. We’ve seen reports of manufacturers trying to buy them and lock the secret in a box. We are hopeful that this works out well, as this is one of the most eco-friendly inventions we’ve seen since a while.
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