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Clothes that only require light to get cleaned

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Melbourne: The day when you can look tidy even without washing your clothes does not seem too distant as researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have developed a technology to make textiles clean themselves within less than six minutes when put them under a light bulb or out in the sun.

The researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed a cheap and efficient new way to grow special nanostructures — which can degrade organic matter when exposed to light — directly onto textiles.

“There’s more work to do to before we can start throwing out our washing machines, but this advance lays a strong foundation for the future development of fully self-cleaning textiles,” said researcher Rajesh Ramanathan.

The research paper was published in the journal Advanced Materials Interfaces.

The work paves the way towards nano-enhanced textiles that can spontaneously clean themselves of stains and grime simply by being put under light.

The process developed by the team had a variety of applications for catalysis-based industries such as agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and natural products, and could be easily scaled up to industrial levels, Ramanathan said.

“The advantage of textiles is they already have a 3D structure so they are great at absorbing light, which in turn speeds up the process of degrading organic matter,” he explained.

The researchers worked with copper and silver-based nanostructures, which are known for their ability to absorb visible light.

When the nanostructures are exposed to light, they receive an energy boost that creates “hot electrons”.

These “hot electrons” release a burst of energy that enables the nanostructures to degrade organic matter.

The challenge for researchers has been to bring the concept out of the lab by working out how to build these nanostructures on an industrial scale and permanently attach them to textiles.

The RMIT team’s novel approach was to grow the nanostructures directly onto the textiles by dipping them into a few solutions, resulting in the development of stable nanostructures within 30 minutes.

When exposed to light, it took less than six minutes for some of the nano-enhanced textiles to spontaneously clean themselves.

“Our next step will be to test our nano-enhanced textiles with organic compounds that could be more relevant to consumers, to see how quickly they can handle common stains like tomato sauce or wine,” Ramanathan said. (IANS)

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Apple’s Recycling Robot Is Capable of Disassembling 200 iPhones Per Hour

In 2018, the company refurbished more than 7.8 million Apple devices and helped divert more than 48,000 metric tons of electronic waste from landfills. 

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Apple has received nearly one million devices through its programmes and each Daisy can disassemble 1.2 million devices per year. Pixabay

 Apple on Thursday announced to expand its global recycling programmes and introduced Daisy, its recycling robot that is capable of disassembling 200 iPhones per hour.

US customers can send their iPhones to be disassembled by Daisy which is 33 feet long, has five arms and can methodically deconstruct any of 15 iPhone models.

Daisy will disassemble and recycle select used iPhones returned to Best Buy stores throughout the US and KPN retailers in the Netherlands, the company said in a statement ahead of Earth Day that falls on April 22.

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For cobalt, which is a key battery material, Apple sends iPhone batteries recovered by Daisy upstream in its supply chain. Pixabay

Apple also announced the opening of its “Material Recovery Lab” dedicated to discovering future recycling processes in Austin, Texas.

The Lab will work with Apple engineering teams as well as academia to address and propose solutions to today’s industry recycling challenges.

“Advanced recycling must become an important part of the electronics supply chain, and Apple is pioneering a new path to help push our industry forward,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.

Apple has received nearly one million devices through its programmes and each Daisy can disassemble 1.2 million devices per year.

In 2018, the company refurbished more than 7.8 million Apple devices and helped divert more than 48,000 metric tons of electronic waste from landfills.

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The Lab will work with Apple engineering teams as well as academia to address and propose solutions to today’s industry recycling challenges. Pixabay

Daisy can take apart iPhones to recover materials such as cobalt, aluminum and tin, which are then recycled back into the manufacturing process.

Once materials have been recovered by Daisy, they are recycled back into the manufacturing process.

Also Read: Parkinson Treatment Possible Through A Blood Pressure Drug

For cobalt, which is a key battery material, Apple sends iPhone batteries recovered by Daisy upstream in its supply chain.

They are then combined with scrap from select manufacturing sites and, for the first time, cobalt recovered through this process is now being used to make brand-new Apple batteries. (IANS)