Siemens Zeolith Dishwasher Uses Moisture-Sucking Minerals To Boost Efficiency


Image by Seimens via Dvice

Engineers at Siemens have figured out a clever way recycle some of the energy a dishwasher uses during the wash cycle to make the dry cycle more efficient. Much of the energy used in the dry cycle goes toward countering the humidity created during the wash cycle, so the way to a more efficient dishwasher is to look at how to improve this part of the cleaning process. For the engineers at Seimens, the secret isn't in a more efficient motor, or using waste heat, but rather in the addition of a moisture-absorbing mineral held in a container at the bottom of the machine. According to Dvice, "About three pounds of moisture absorbing minerals called zeolites are held in a container in the bottom of the machine, and during the wash cycle they are heated along with the water. During the dry cycle, the zeolites release their stored up heat, and also absorb moisture from the air inside the machine. The moisture stays in the zeolites until the next wash cycle, when the heating will release it back into the wash water. The result is a faster load cycle, and a 20% reduction in power consumption over the most efficient conventional dishwashers."

The mineral lasts for the entire life of the machine, and the company states it is stored safely inside the dishwasher. But of course, the question then becomes how safe this is when it comes time to recycle the dishwasher.

During the life of the machine, it seems to make quite an impact on energy use. Siemens states, "Thanks to Zeolith drying, Siemens dishwashers take a mere 125 minutes to complete the regular cycle. This makes them, by some distance, the fastest in the world. Even better, the energy consumption is just 0.97 kWh and, despite the seriously quick wash time, the results remain as good as you would expect from a Siemens (energy label AAA)."

The dishwasher model is available in Europe but no such luck finding it easily here in the US. A bummer, but don't despair - we have a How To Go Green guide for dishwashers.

More on Dish Washing
Built In Dishwashers vs. Hand Washing: Which is Greener?
Ultrasonic Dishwasher from Bosch
Repair or Replace (and Recycle): Your Dishwasher

Tags: Appliances | Energy Efficiency | Water Crisis

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