Using an ozone-based laundry system could save a 95-room hotel $9,331 and cut its carbon emissions by 35 tons over the course of a year, when compared to traditional laundering, according to a report by EcoGreenHotel.
The hotel in the study, which is titled Ozone Laundry – 95 Room Hotel Payback Study, processed 348,075 pounds of laundry over the course of the year using the DEL Ozone system. It recorded a 79 percent return on its investment in the first year of using the system.
Ozone laundry systems generally use electricity and oxygen in place of many of the chemicals used in traditional washing processes. The use of ozone allows linens to be laundered with cold water – and less of it than in traditional hot water systems – and without bleach. These factors can result in lower bills and cleaner wastewater.
EcoGreenHotel says that the most important operational outcome discovered in this analysis is that the ozone laundry system saved over 47 percent of fuel costs for boiler and dryer operation, with a 74 percent savings for the hot water boilers alone. In addition, the system eliminated softener costs, reduced electrical costs for the washers and dryers by about 13 percent, and reduced linen replacement costs by 10 percent. In total, the system saved almost $780 per month for this hotel.
While detergent is used in both ozone and traditional laundry processes, ozone laundry does eliminates the use of extra acid or alkali content. In traditional laundry programs so much alkali and hot water are used that the wash water becomes very caustic and damaging to valuable linens, according to LaundryHotel.com. Acid must be used to neutralize the high pH before the wash process is complete.
The extremely high pH is needed to create OH radicals from water molecules. With ozone laundry, users can create the same OH radicals with a pH of 8 in cold water containing dissolved ozone.
However, LaundryHotel.com warns that ozone is not a “panacea,” as cold water washing can prove relatively ineffective against such stains as lipstick, shoe polish and ink.
In December last year, the Hilton Concord hotel in the San Francisco Bay Area announced it was to use an ozone laundry system as part of a raft of environmental upgrades. Other innovations the hotel announced included a low temperature dishwasher and “pillow renovation” that sterilizes and renovates pillows ready for reuse, reducing the number of discarded pillows.