Types of Autoclaves: Choosing the Right Chamber

There are so many types of autoclaves — not just in terms of autoclave processes (dry heat, steam, etc.). There are also seemingly small differences—like size, orientation, and chamber type—that can have a big impact on your lab’s operations.  How do you determine which is right for your lab?

This is a really interesting article giving a brief overview of the autoclave procurement process at Imperial College, London (who recently needed to replace 10 aging autoclaves in their research labs).  A hidden gem is this brief observation about autoclave energy consumption:

“[a paper] given by Agilent … provided an analysis of the energy advantages of using autoclaves with round chambers. John Jerger’s presentation indicated a 60% lower energy demand by round chambered autoclaves with a consequent comparative annual running cost of £4560 [~$5,900] for a round 430L chamber compared to £8400 [~$10,900] for a 450L square chamber”

there are two types of autoclaves: good ones, and ugly ones!Our first whitepaper, released back in 2016, spoke to the fundamental design issues that guarantee a rectangular-chambered autoclave must use more power than a comparable cylindrical-chambered unit.  Nice to see more real-world numbers backing that up.

We’ve spoken to similar issues with autoclave water consumption—and assisted the University of California, Riverside in their own analysis of autoclave efficiency (SPOILER ALERT: cylindrical chambers came out ahead then, too).

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