The development of using steam in a dishwashing application : its effectiveness in cleaning and water conservation

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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- Less than one per cent of the world’s available water resources are suitable for human consumption. Climate change, increased populations and excessive, wasteful water use have all contributed to the depletion of natural supplies. It is vital that we introduce new and innovative methods that reduce our demand on freshwater sources, for non-drinking purposes, to assist in achieving water conservation for the future. One method is through appliances. This investigation has focused on reducing water use within dishwashers by implementing methods in which overall water could not only be minimised, but also re-used. Steam was the key element investigated to reduce water consumption. Experimentation proved that the elevated temperatures and pressures of steam would minimise water use and detergent requirements in a dishwashing application. Further methods explored to enhance water conservation and enable reuse of water included membrane filtration and UV disinfection processes. These elements provide removal of turbidity (solids and colour) and microbial content from water in a two -stage purification process. Outcomes from research and testing suggested designing for the commercial kitchen environment would have greater benefits for a steam dishwashing application. This was due to the high energy values required to generate steam, but minimal to maintain a steady operation. Further investigation into waste heat resources and feed water return also proved promising for offering a more sustainable systems operation. By using waste heat sources to heat incoming feed water and utilising condensate and water filtration, this system would minimise water, heat, energy and fuel requirements for operation as well as provide an opportunity to recover all elements back into the cycle, aiming to achieve minimal losses. In summary, water filtration and pressurised steam have benefits in reducing water and detergent requirements in a dishwashing application. For higher operational efficiencies, it is suggested that a commercial kitchen environment will benefit from this solution, using the application in a systems design. This will enable water, heat and energy sources to be utilised and recovered, ensuring sustainable preservation of natural resources.
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