Autoclaves are vital in laboratory sterilization, but their operational impact on the environment is a growing concern. This blog discusses ways to mitigate these impacts, focusing on energy and water conservation. Additionally, we provide 4 practical tips for sustainable autoclave operations that you can do right now in your lab.
Energy Consumption in Autoclaves:
Energy consumption is a common concern among eco-friendly researchers. Traditional autoclave models consume a large amount of power per cycle, whereas advanced models like TOMY’s SX-series, especially the SX-500, use about 2.0 KW per cycle. This is made possible in part to TOMY’s vertical stacking feature which allows for more items to be sterilized per cycle, maximizing capacity and leading to fewer cycles required to sterilize all of your required articles.
Water Consumption in Autoclaves:
Water consumption is a large environmental concern. Autoclaves often require plumbing and installation to operate. This is to allow for a continuous water flow to maintain the steam generation during the sterilization process. TOMY’s SX-series, needing no plumbing, significantly reduces water usage. This is because TOMY’s SX-series autoclaves simply need water to be added to the main chamber to operate. We also suggest taking additional measures such as collecting and reusing cooling water if possible and reviewing water usage periodically to see if any new possibilities arise.
TOMY’s Practical Tips for Sustainable Autoclave Operations:
- Optimize Load Sizing: Maximize load efficiency. For example, organizing items based on size and type can lead to more efficient sterilization cycles and reduce the total number of cycles required.
- Regular Maintenance: Ensure efficient operation. Schedule routine check-ups to identify any issues that could lead to increased energy or water usage. TOMY recommends yearly preventive maintenance checks to avoid any potential issues that may arise.
- Staff Training: Emphasize the importance of conservation. We encourage management to conduct workshops on eco-friendly lab practices and encourage responsible use of autoclaves.
- Follow Manufacturer Guidelines: Stay informed about best practices for your autoclave and follow the manufacturer guidelines for eco-friendly autoclave sterilization.
Eco-friendly practices in autoclave use are essential for sustainability. By choosing efficient models like TOMY’s SX-series and adopting water-conserving measures, your lab can contribute significantly to sustainability.