Nanodiamonds Improve Laundry Detergent Effectiveness, According to Scientific Study
6/26/2012 4:27:52 AM Shira
Diamonds have proven to have excellent stain removal properties. Chemists in the UK have added small quantities of nanodiamonds to commercial washing detergent—nanodiamonds are pieces of carbon that are less than a ten-thousandth of the diameter of a human hair. The team of experts, led by Dr Andrew Marsh from the Department of Chemistry at Warwick University, concluded that the nanodiamonds significantly increase the efficacy of the detergent and that the rough surface of diamonds helps to rub fat and grease off of materials.
The nanodiamonds, which are created by exploding synthetic diamonds to create microscopic particles, made the detergent more effective at removing grease and dirt, even at cold wash temperatures. In one experiment, the microscopic diamonds removed twice the amount of fat from a wash of clothes than conventional detergent did. The nanodiamonds were added to detergent in very small amounts and the findings may make is possible to wash clothing more effectively at lower temperatures. In practice, nanodiamonds would make up about a 0.1% additive in a typical load.
“These findings tackle a problem that forces consumers to wash some of their laundry between 60 and 90 C [degrees Celsius] more than 80 times a year…Even with modern biological washing powders, some fats and dirt cannot be removed at the lower temperatures many prefer to use for their weekly wash,” said Dr. Marsh.
The research was partially funded by the detergent manufacturer Proctor and Gamble PLC and the findings have been published in the scientific journal of the American Chemical Society, Applied Materials and Interfaces.
“The physical and chemical insight gained paves the way for future research,” said Dr. Marsh
“We are always looking at innovative ways to improve our laundry products, especially their performance at lower temperatures which we know has such a positive impact on the environment,” said a spokesman for Proctor and Gamble.