Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg praises Xeros technology
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg described Xeros as ‘a great example of how going green is good for our economy’ during a visit to the firm during which he learned about Xeros’s unique cleaning system. He joined Xeros senior executives in celebrating the company’s first commercial sale in the UK.
Xeros has established a process that delivers superior cleaning performance yet uses significantly less water, energy and detergent than conventional washing systems. The process uses small nylon polymer beads to ‘attract’ stains. Within the Xeros washing system, the gentle flow of the beads acts just like water. They tumble with the washload and transport stains off garments to be locked into the nylon’s molecular structure.
Mr Clegg met senior Xeros executives and recent graduates from the University of Sheffield on Friday 14 September. Chief Technology Officer Dr Stephen Jenkins explained the unique patented technology to Mr Clegg and how the Xeros polymer beads work within the drum to clean garments.
Mr Clegg said: “As a local MP I’m always delighted to celebrate our region’s successful, green and innovative local businesses. Xeros is a great example of how going green is good for our economy."
Xeros Chairman John Samuel outlined the firm’s growth from a small start-up four years ago to a blossoming enterprise, which employs twenty scientists, engineers and support staff in Sheffield and three people in the USA.
Mr Samuel highlighted to Mr Clegg the valuable role that government grants had played in supporting the company’s R&D programme and attracting high-calibre employees to Xeros. With support from the company’s investors and the continued access to grants, Mr Samuel was optimistic that Xeros could triple its workforce in south Yorkshire over the next two-to-three years.
Dr Jenkins and Mr Samuel explained to the Deputy Prime Minister that the company had reached a new landmark, having sold its first commercial grade cleaning system to Johnsons Dry Cleaners, the UK’s leading high street chain. Mr Clegg cut the ribbon on the first commercial unit, which will be installed at one of Johnsons’ dry cleaning premises in the next few weeks.
Mr Clegg also met some of the company’s recent employees, including Mayki Xiao and Ana Tellechea Lopez who graduated from University of Sheffield with Masters in Materials Science & Engineering and Engineering Materials, respectively.
Mr Clegg concluded his visit with a preview of Xeros’s prototype cleaning system for the domestic market conducted by Engineering Director Simon Wells. Domestic washing machines consume approximately 50 litres of water per wash. On average, washer/dryer systems account for 13 per cent of household energy use. If all UK households were fitted with machines powered by Xeros technology, the potential savings to UK consumers would total more than £2 billion per annum. It would also represent a net reduction of 4.2 million tonnes of CO2 per annum, the equivalent of taking 1.4 million cars off UK roads.
Said Bill Westwater, Chief Executive of Xeros: “We were delighted to welcome Nick Clegg to our facility here at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, which lies within his Sheffield Hallam constituency. It was clear that we impressed him with our technology and the growth of our business, which generates and supports employment within the region.”
Related categories: Water conservation and supply