Tag Archives: dry ice for cleaning
Most machines on the market use a lot of energy and water. But this revolutionary concept from designer Elie Ahovi could change all that. The Orbit ditches the soap and water for the cleaning power of dry ice. It’s also silent and only takes a few minutes per load to boot.The laundry orb, which is opened and controlled using a ceramic-based touchscreen interface, blasts sublimated dry ice at supersonic speeds toward your clothes. The carbon dioxide interacts with the organic materials in your laundry and breaks them down. Then the dirt and grime is filtered out through a tube that you can rinse, and the CO2 is removed and re-frozen (though it’s not clear how, because this would require lots of energy). Voila, clean and dry clothes.The Orbit uses a battery-filled ring to levitate a supercooled superconductive metal laundry basket. The basket is coated in two layers of shatterproof glass and chilled using liquid nitrogen. The batteries inside the ring produce a magnetic field, and the basket levitates inside this field as its electrical resistivity drops.
It is made up of a battery-filled ring, through which electric current flows. The spherical drum, holding the clothes, is made of super conductive metal, dropped to a very low temperature by liquid nitrogen. As its electrical resistivity drops to zero, it floats within the ring.But inside the drum is where the magic (science) happens. Dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, is sublimated (turned into gas without becoming a liquid first) and fired at high pressure into the dirty clothing. The CO2 reacts with the dirt and grease, removing it from the clothing.Dry ice blasting is a well established cleaning technique, though it is used mostly for industrial applications. Once the undesirable elements have been separated, they are filtered into a tube, leaving only clean clothing behind. The CO2 in gas form is sucked up and sublimated back into its solid form.Because the process depends on a near instantaneous chemical reaction, the process of cleaning is considerably shortened, and the noise of sloshing water becomes a thing of the past. The Orbit needs only occasional maintenance, so the isolated dirt can be removed. It is a closed circuit system, so the CO2 doesn’t have to be replaced, and the batteries in the ring recharge themselves by capturing the energy of the spinning drum through induction.