Will Clean Show Find Revolutionize Laundry Industry?

Eric Frederick |

I’ve said for years that the real value of any Clean Show is the unexpected products that you find in the most unlikely places.
Normally these discoveries can be found in one of the small, 10-square-foot booths along a back wall, or in an out-of-the-way location. This year, I found a new technology that may revolutionize the laundry chemical business. And most surprisingly, I found it at the Standard Textile Co. booth.
I never would have dreamed of looking for a new chemical system at a company that’s best known for its high-quality textile products.
The system, called Atlantis Activator Technologies, was developed and tested in Israel. It’s just being introduced to the U.S. market. This new system takes plain water and converts it into the alkali and acidic solutions needed to effectively operate a laundry.
When I first saw this, I had trouble wrapping my mind around the concept. I didn’t have the time at first to sit down and understand the chemistry behind the concept.
The more I thought about the system, the more I encouraged people to go look at it. If the system could perform as advertised, it would dramatically change the industry I had worked in all my life.
As I walked by the booths of various laundry chemical vendors, I couldn’t help but wonder how different their companies would be if they were unable to sell alkali, bleach and sour.
How much greener would the laundry industry be if we didn’t have to truck those chemicals from manufacturer to end-user?
How much happier would the Western Virginia Water Authority be if I didn’t need to store those chemicals in totes or 55-gallon drums?
The potential impact of this system would equal the effect of cotton/poly fabrics.
I kept going back to discuss the system with various members of the company. I felt like a bug drawn to a bug zapper; the pull of this new technology was irresistible.
On the third day of the show, Brad Bushman had the time to sit down with me and go through the chemistry behind the project. As he drew out the chemical reaction and the various parts of each molecule, I felt like I was back in high school working with my chemistry teacher and research-chemist father.
One of my high school science projects had to do with electroplating copper. The application of electricity through a solution activated the copper and caused it to be deposited on the targeted item.
The Atlantis system uses electricity to excite water and salt molecules to divide and recombine in predictable ways. The end result is NaOH (alkali) and HOCL (sour-sanitizer-bleaching agent). The chemical process is simple and straightforward, and I fully understand how the system works. But will it work in the real world?
The system is said to work effectively in lower wash temperatures and therefore claims to be able to save as much as 80% of the energy used in a traditional wash cycle. It also claims to be able to eliminate 60-75% of the chemicals and detergents currently purchased. Most importantly, it provides a longer life for your textiles, the company says.
I’m eager to learn more about the system, its purchase cost, cost of operation, and annual maintenance cost. Any system that has the potential to dramatically change the laundry industry deserves a more careful examination.

About the author

Eric Frederick

Carilion Laundry Service

Director of Laundry Services

Eric Frederick is director of laundry services for Carilion Laundry Service, Roanoke, Va., and past president of the National Association of Institutional Linen Management (NAILM), now called the Association for Linen Management (ALM). He’s a two-time association manager of the year. You can reach him by e-mail at


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