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Sterilisation Methods - Ethylene Oxide Processing(EtO)

Supplier: Steritech

What is EtO?

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EtO processing was introduced in response to our customer’s requests.

We continue to listen to our customers and provide solutions to accommodate their varying needs.

EtO is used as a gas for sterilising and decontaminating. It sterilises via its action as a powerful alkylating agent.

Because of the alkylation, cell reproduction is prevented and cell death is ensured.

Why use Ethylene Oxide?

  • Sterilises a wide range of products
  • Approved world-wide by international regulatory bodies
  • Product capacity – EtO is better suited to bulky products
  • Plastics which may not physically cope with other types of processing are well suited to EtO

Ethylene Oxide Process

Stage One ‘Preconditioning’

The product load is raised to the required temperature and moisture content through a two stage pre-conditioning procedure lasting around 12 hours.

Temperatures are raised to a minimum of 22 degrees Celsius with relative humidity levels of 40%.

Stage Two ‘Sterilisation’

The preconditioned load is transferred into the sterilisation chamber. The sterilisation process revolves around four main parameters that must be controlled accurately to achieve consistent outcomes.

These parameters include time, temperature, gas concentration and humidity.

The stainless steel sterilisation chamber is evacuated to remove air. Steam is then injected into the chamber to re-establish the necessary moisture content.

Ethylene Oxide is then introduced until the required concentration is achieved.

To ensure excellent temperature distribution and uniformity, water jackets are installed down the middle of the chamber and around the exterior.

The chamber also has an analytical EtO sensor mounted inside to monitor gas levels throughout the whole process.

The chamber itself is designed to be a one-flow process, ensuring a smooth and failsafe transition from non-processed to processed product.

The entire process is fully automated and continually monitored via the SCADA system.

Stage Three – ‘Aeration Room’

The product exiting the chamber is conveyed into the aeration room.

The high velocity aeration room is fully enclosed and is made from Clean Room standard sandwich panel walls.

The room itself has 50 air changes per hour. This ensures the best results for lowered gas residuals.

Steritech can guarantee a minimum period of 48 hours within the aeration room to minimise your gas residual levels.

Longer duration times will be provided if we have the capacity to do so.

Download the Steritech Brochure (12mb)

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