Dishwashing without suds
FORMER Dorrigo school student Douglas Nash, 21, has won an international award for his design of a waterless dishwasher.
Douglas is currently in his final year at the University of NSW and, with the assistance of Oystein Lie, from Norway, and Ross Nicholls, of Terrigal, the team developed a revolutionary dishwasher that uses carbon dioxide instead of water.
Global electronic appliance giant Electrolux asked students to design a product consumers might need in the year 2015.
The dishwasher came first over products developed by students from Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The esteemed judging panel, including one of the world's leading industrial designers, Ross Lovegrove, was impressed with the environmental qualities a waterless, chemical-free dishwasher could provide consumers in the future.
"It uses carbon dioxide to clean the dishes," Mr Nash said.
"Under pressure the carbon dioxide takes on special properties of a liquid and a gas so it dissolves grease and oil and it has no surface tension so it will cover everything, like a gas.
"It's ideal because there are no moving parts in the machine so it's great for quietness."
However, a mass-produced version of the product would not be viable for consumer use for many years.
"One of the guys here from Electrolux told me if they wanted to do it now it would be $400,000 a unit so there's very little chance," Mr Nash said.
Electrolux spokesman Tony Evans said some features of the Sydney-based team's product could be used further down the track in their products.
"There is a possibility some of the things developed by the students could find their way into real products down the road," Mr Evans said.