Stephen Burkinshaw (Textiles) has invented a technology which allows clothes to be washed using 90% less water than a normal laundry cycle.
The process uses nylon beads instead of water; the 3mm long beads flood the washing machine drum once the clothes are wet and the humidity is at the right level. They can get into all the crevices and folds of clothing and, when wet, the beads attract stains to their surface which then diffuse into the centre of the bead. The beads clean clothes efficiently and can be re-used hundreds of times.
The technology will have a significant impact on the energy costs and environmental impact of laundry washing.
A spin-out company, Xeros, has been formed to market the technology. A prototype washing machine has been built and the company is working towards a product for the commercial laundry market.
The Innovation Fund provided £9,000 early-stage funding for initial patent protection.