Laundry detergent that creates pollution-eating clothing moves towards commercialization

laundry detergent that creates pollution eating clothin moves towards commercialization green cityWhile the suggestion of pollution-eating clothing may at first sound a little fanciful, or even utterly absurd, the fact is that thanks to the development of a special liquid laundry additive, it’s already a reality.

The latest news is that scientists behind the pollution-busting creation are in talks with a manufacturer of environmentally friendly cleaning products in a bid to bring a detergent containing the additive to market.

The additive, called ‘CatClo’ (short for Catalytic Clothing), is the result of a joint effort involving the UK’s University of Sheffield and London College of Fashion. Additional help came from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The revolutionary additive contains minuscule pollution-eating particles that its inventors claim could have a real, identifiable impact on air quality.laundry detergent that creates pollution eating clothin moves towards commercialization washing machine

To turn your clothes into pollution-fighting garments, all they require is a single wash in the special additive. Tiny particles of titanium dioxide attach to the fabric during the wash which, when you’re out and about, work to oxidize harmful nitrogen oxides when they come into contact with the treated fabric. The harmless oxidized substances are then removed in subsequent washes.

The scientists behind the product estimate that a person wearing clothes washed in the additive would remove approximately 5g of nitrogen oxides from the air during a typical day, roughly the same amount which is emitted by an average-sized family car in the course of a day.

Cleaner cities

Professor Tony Ryan of the University of Sheffield believes the additive could make a discernible difference to the quality of air in a town or city, provided enough people wear treated garments.

“If thousands of people in a typical town used the additive, the result would be a significant improvement in local air quality,” Ryan said. “This additive creates the potential for community action to deliver a real environmental benefit that could actually help to cut disease and save lives.”

Coming to stores

While CatClo has been in development for some time, those who created the additive believe it is now ready to be commercialized.

“We’re now working closely with a manufacturer of environmentally friendly cleaning products to commercialize our laundry additive,” Professor Ryan said.

“We believe that using the additive in a final rinse with a full washing load could potentially cost as little as 10 pence (16 cents) – a small price to pay for the knowledge that you’re doing something tangible to tackle air pollution and increase the life expectancy of people with respiratory conditions. We’re confident there’s a really big market out there for this product.”

Do you like the sound of CatClo? Would you buy it if it only cost a little more than your regular laundry detergent?

[EPSRC via Tecca] [ Top image: James Weston; bottom: Ljupco Smokovski / Shutterstock]

Emerging Tech

Light-swallowing room promises Call of Duty fans the blackest of ops

What's it like to be in a room fully painted with the world's darkest material, Vantablack? The makers of one of the year's top video games teamed up with Vantablack scientists to find out.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Smart Home

Gas dryers vs. electric dryers: Knowing the difference could save you some dough

Whether you buy an electric dryer or a gas dryer may depend solely on your setup, unless you want to spend money to get a gas hookup for your home. But if you have a choice, there are some differences to take into account.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Wearables

Skydio’s self-flying drone now has an Apple Watch app for flight prep

Skydio's clever R1 autonomous drone now has its own Apple Watch app, making flight preparations simpler than ever. The $2,000 flying machine is now also selling at its first retail outlet — Apple Stores in North America.
Emerging Tech

Scientists created a condom that self-lubricates during sex. You’re welcome

Researchers from Boston University have invented a special coating for condoms which make them respond to bodily fluids by becoming more slippery. Here's how their new breakthrough works.
Emerging Tech

Are e-cigarettes safe? Here’s what the most recent science says

Ecigarettes are widely regarded and advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes for people who are trying to kick the smoking habit. How safe are these cigarette alternatives? We went deep into the recent scientific literature to…
Emerging Tech

You’re so vein: Palm-based biometric system could help confirm your identity

Move over, Face ID! The next biometric security systems could rely on analyzing the unique vein patterns in your palm print. Here are some of the ways the technology could prove useful.
Emerging Tech

For only $4,950, you can get jetpack lessons from the world’s only instructor

Have you ever dreamed of flying using a jetpack? JetPack Aviation founder -- and the world's only qualified jetpack teacher -- David Mayman is now offering a day of flight instruction.
Emerging Tech

Biologists have found a hormone that could make space farming possible

Researchers have shown how space farming may be possible. By encouraging plants to excrete a certain hormone, they’ve demonstrated that crops can thrive despite challenging conditions, such as low-nutrient soil and microgravity.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Emerging Tech

When tech goes wrong: Banksy’s shredder was meant to totally destroy his artwork

Banksy's recent auction stunt was meant to totally destroy one of his most famous pieces of work, but a fault with the shredder has left the buyer with something almost certainly worth far more than the $1 million she bid for it.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.