E-Wash Washing Machine Wins Electrolux Design Lab 2007
Dec 4, 2007
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Electrolux announced that Levente Szabó from Moholy-Nagy University of Art & Design, Hungary, won the Electrolux Design Lab 2007 competition with E-wash, a compact washing machine that uses soap nuts instead of detergent. The 2007 Electrolux Design Lab challenged students to come up with environmentally-sound, commercially-viable products and solutions that would enable consumers to live in greater harmony with the environment.

In India and Nepal, people have used the soap nut (sapindus mucorossi) for centuries to get their clothes clean. Szabó said that a kilogram of soap nuts would last the typical person a year, and soap nuts are good for people with allergies and gentle on clothes.

"The soapnut is a natural plant and can be cultivated. It does not harm nature but is a part of it," said Szabo. "The other problem was the form of conventional washing machine. I reduced the size and made it flat, so it would fit into a small apartment, but also would be able to wash a lot of clothes at the same time."

Second Place went to Pebble, a portable, solar food cooker that uses spray-on solar cells and induction heating for energy-efficient cooking. It was submitted by Laura Pandelle from École Boulle, France.

Third Place went to Go Fresh by He Cheng Fei from Jiangnan University, China. Go Fresh is an energy-saving refrigerator with individual, honeycomb-shaped compartments that preserve each type of food at the right temperature and can be removed to be taken on a picnic. 

The other five finalists are:

  • Circompo by Thanat Tengamnuay from King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand. Circompo is a composter and garbage bin that decomposes organic waste–especially food–using microorganisms that are kept under ideal conditions of air, moisture, and heat to speed the process.
  • Fog Shower by João Diego Schimansky from Pontificia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil. Fog Shower is a shower that uses a fog of microscopic water droplets and only 2 L of water for a five-minute shower, compared to 26 L for today's most efficient water-saving showerheads.
  • Pure Washer by Tatjana Voronova from Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany. Pure Washer is a rotating dual kitchen sink and detergent-free compact dishwasher that reduces water consumption and uses degassed water to remove oily dirt from dishes.
  • Nature Wind by Bae Won-Ho from Dong-A University, South Korea Nature Wind is a solar-powered air cleaner mounted to a window that uses a series of filters to refresh and sanitize household air.
  • Return Pot by Ying-Hao Juan from Cranbrook Academy of Art, U.S. Return Pot is a plastic decomposer that turns plastic bags made from polyactic acid (PLA) resin into compost for plants.


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