[ENC009] Eco-friendly washing machine



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An eco-friendly washing machine that uses almost no water and leaves clothes virtually dry has been invented by British scientists. Clothes are simply dampened before being loaded into the machine where small plastic beads act as the cleaning agent.The polymer beads are then removed from the laundry. They can be used hundreds of times and far less electricity and detergent is required than with conventional machines. Developers Xeros, based at Catcliffe, near Rotherham say the «green» technology reduces the carbon footprint of washing and could save billions of litres of water. Bill Westwater, the firm’s chief executive, said: «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.»

Chemistry textiles professor Stephen Burkinshaw developed the technology over a period of 30 years at Leeds University. Xeros is now hoping to break into the £50 billion a year laundry products market. The company has been invited to visit leading clean-technology firms in California’s Silicon Valley. Mr Westwater said: «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.» Xeros aims to have a commercially viable product by the end of the year. Hotels, care homes and high street laundries will be targeted first with domestic washing machine manufacturers to follow. Mr Westwater said: «Once our reputation is established and the technology proven we will hopefully be able to produce machines for homes.»


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The Telegraph, 12 de febrero de 2010


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