Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

On The Horizon: A 'Rinse' For Washing Machines That Dries Clothes

Date:
August 10, 2005
Source:
University of Florida
Summary:
Think of it as a kind of chemical clothes wringer. University of Florida engineers have developed a compound that forces clothes in the washer to shed 20 percent more water during the spin cycle than in normal conditions. The result: A load of clothes dries faster in the dryer, saving energy -- and reducing homeowners' electricity bills and time spent in the laundry room.

University of Florida chemical engineering doctoral student Daniel Carter demonstrates how a homeowner might pour a clothes-wringing solution into a washer. Carter and Dinesh Shah, a professor of chemical engineering, developed the solution, which forces clothes to shed 20 percent more water during the washer’s spin cycle than under normal conditions. The result: A load of clothes dries faster in the dryer, saving energy and reducing homeowners’ electricity bills. (University of Florida/Kristen Bartlett)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Think of it as a kind of chemical clothes wringer.

Universityof Florida engineers have developed a compound that forces clothes inthe washer to shed 20 percent more water during the spin cycle than innormal conditions. The result: A load of clothes dries faster in thedryer, saving energy — and reducing homeowners’ electricity bills andtime spent in the laundry room.

“We feel it’s very cost-effectiveresearch and convenient for consumers,” said Dinesh Shah, a professorof chemical engineering and director of the UF Center for SurfaceScience and Engineering.

Shah and Daniel Carter, a doctoralstudent in chemical engineering, will publish their second articleabout their research this month in Langmuir, a surface science journal.UF has applied for a patent on the research, which was funded with$200,000 from Procter & Gamble, a major manufacturer of laundrydetergent and related products.

More than 56 percent of Americansown electric dryers, with a typical dryer handling 300 loads per year,Carter said. With the average load requiring from 2.7 to 3 kilowatthours of electricity, that means drying clothes equates to 5 percent oftotal residential electricity consumption, costing $2.6 billionannually, Carter said.

A conservative 10 percent reduction indrying times would save consumers $266 million annually. But Shah andCarter say they can do better than that.

Their invention: A water-shedding compound created from a mix of common detergents and fabric softeners.

Carterand Shah said the researchers’ key insight was that the spaces betweentiny fibers in the weave of fabrics comprise minute tubes, orcapillaries, which retain water due to surface tension. It’s the samephenomenon that causes a submerged straw to hold water when covered atthe other end and lifted out of the surface, Carter said.

Theresearchers reasoned that reducing this surface tension would reducethe water retained by fabric. They first tested this idea usingfinger-sized copper containers dotted with drain holes. Filled withfabric and water and placed in a centrifuge, the containers mimickedthe conditions of spin cycling washing machines – except that the waterloss and fabric retention could be easily measured.

When theresearchers discovered that some compounds apparently increased waterloss, they expanded their experiments to bigger fabrics and a realwasher and dryer. The dryer sits in a crowded lab on a scale, allowingCarter to compare different wet loads by weight to their total dryingtimes.

Their experiments revealed that one ratio of a commondetergent and fabric softener – five parts detergent, one part fabricsoftener – added before the spin cycle forced the clothes to shed 20percent more water than untreated clothes. The clothes then dried 20percent faster.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Florida. "On The Horizon: A 'Rinse' For Washing Machines That Dries Clothes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050810130611.htm>.
University of Florida. (2005, August 10). On The Horizon: A 'Rinse' For Washing Machines That Dries Clothes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050810130611.htm
University of Florida. "On The Horizon: A 'Rinse' For Washing Machines That Dries Clothes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050810130611.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins