England-based startup company Xeros (not to be confused with Xerox) has taken the meaning of “energy-efficiency” to another level with their near-waterless commercial washing machine. The company’s Commercial Laundry System uses just one gallon of water and half the amount of detergent that’s required in standard washing machine load. While the Xeros Laundry System isn’t available for consumer use, the company hopes to raise money to design a domestic model by selling a portion of their business to investors.
So, how is the Xeros Commercial Laundry System able to wash laundry while using just a fraction of the water that’s traditionally used in washing machines? The secret to its efficient design lies within its thousands of tiny synthetic polymer beads. These beads smash into clothes and laundry to literally knock off dirt, dust, mud, debris and general stains.
To operate the machine, laundry is first placed into the compartment. The nylon polymer beads, water and detergent are then simultaneously mixed in with the clothes. The machine then behinds the cycle, while the polymer beads knock out and absorb stains. Once the cycle is complete, the polymer beads are automatically flushed into a separate drum. It’s estimated that the machine’s design separates about 99.95% of the polymer beads. The remaining few beads that are left behind must be manually removed by the operator.
Currently, the Xeros washing machine is only available as a commercial model for dry cleaning companies and similar industries. However, they are trying to raise capital to design a residential model by selling a portion of their company through Aim.
“Xeros’ technology has the potential to transform a number of industries globally and our planned Admission to AIM will help accelerate our roll-out in commercial laundry and fund development through to commercialisation in other identified market,” said Xerox Chief Executive Bill Westwater.
Xeros Ltd. Claims their washing machine uses 90% less water than conventional machines on the market. A typical front-loading washing machine – which is considered more efficient than top-loaders – uses roughly 20-25 gallons of water per load, whereas the Xeros Commercial Laundry System may use as little as one gallon of water. In addition, the company reports consumers can save money on their electric bill by making the switch to their near-waterless washing machine.
Note: In 2010, the Xeros Commercial Laundry System was ranked as one of the top 50 best inventions by Time Magazine.