Most of us wear synthetic fabrics like polyester every day. Our dress shirts, yoga pants, fleeces, and even underwear are all increasingly made of synthetic materials plastic, in fact. But these synthetic fabrics, from which 60% of all clothing on earth is made, have a big hidden problem: when they’re washed, they release tiny plastic bits called microfibers that flow down our drains, through water treatment plants, and out into our rivers, lakes and oceans by the billions. Approx. 2 out of 7 people in the world have access to washing machines. This means if we can manage to install this mechanism in every washing machine we can save a massive amount of microfiber entering into the oceans. This is a very big amount of microfiber because there will be at least more than 700,000 microscopic fibres could be released into wastewater during each use of a domestic washing machine, with many of them likely to pass through sewage treatment and into the environment, according to new research. So, imagine the total. Just over 100 million tonnes of fish are eaten worldwide each year, providing two and a half billion people with at least 20 percent of their average per capita animal protein intake. This is very large numbers and that means all those people are in the risk of health caused by consuming micro fibers in their systems.
Filtration or separation of microfiber from the wastewater can be achieved by integrating a heater with a washing machine. After the end-user washes the cloth there will be wastewater containing microfiber. The wastewater will be directed to a heating chamber. When the heater is activated the water will evaporate and the microfiber will remain in the chamber since microfiber does not evaporate. Meaning water boils at 100°C and the temperature must reach from 570 up to 600°C before wool will be affected; while polyester melts at 252–292°C and nylon at 160–260°C, wool never melts so it can't stick to the container. The evaporated water will be directed into a small tank for condensation. Condensation occurs when the water vapor in the container is cooled, changing from a gas to a liquid. This process can take place at various temperatures between 0 and 100°C. This water will be used for reuse since the condensed water is clean. Then after some interval, the microfiber can be collected to be sold to clothing manufacturing companies to be recycled and reused. The percentage of this lint can also be used to make plastic lumber. Currently the mechanism has been tested and showed successful results I have tested the mechanism by mixing micro fibers with water and boiling up the water with home stove and home tools, the water evaporated and the micro fibers remain in the container. This project is Finalist in TKF plastic innovation challenge 2019.
I am assuming that cloth manufacturing companies buy the collected microscopic fibrer from customers.
My primary design problem which is how to meet different models and specifications in different companies and countries. Well, the way I see it, I have two options. 1. Make some kind of arrangement with major washing machine manufacturers and make the dive assembled in every product that will be sold in the future. 2. Build different model based on the different output of wastewater which contains the micro fibers. That is why I am working to get the attention of washer manufacturing companies by publishing the innovation in different sites.
Currently, I have come up with a good idea, designed the device and the next step is building the prototype.
I need funding to build the prototype.