The liquid sterilization load type (or fluid load) differs greatly from other load types found in a modern laboratory setting (i.e., glass or porous) because the process changes significantly. The difference is that you are sterilizing the liquid and the container it resides in. This method requires far more precision than simply sterilizing a beaker or apparatus in your lab. Common liquids sterilized in an autoclave include solutions, chemicals, or waste fluids found in a laboratory environment. These liquids can be very delicate, and proper sterilization is of considerable importance before the liquid is to be used. This is especially true for reagents, liquid specimen samples, cleaning solutions, biological waste, and culture mediums.
Autoclaving liquids presents unique factors one must consider. For instance, volume; the greater the volume of liquid, the longer it could take to rise in temperature, affecting the sterilization time. Other factors to consider include viscosity (thickness of solutions) and required temperature for sterilization.
Containers must also be examined. Whether the container is sealed or unsealed will factor into the necessary precautions in order to avoid liquid boiling over. This will determine if there is a need to use the ‘air purging’ or free-steaming function to remove air buildup/air pockets, which typically is needed for sealed containers. Free-steaming comes as a standard function on every Priorclave autoclave.
The material of the container can also factor into autoclave cycle specifications needed, as they will reach temperatures at different rates. For instance, metal containers conduct heat significantly faster than glass.
Our sterilizers are all laboratory-grade and can be created to any desired specification with many customizable features to fit all liquid autoclaving needs, including load cooling, media warming, delayed start, or free-steaming. Finding which one is right for you will depend on capacity, temperature, speed, and space.
Here are a couple we recommend:
- Benchtop autoclaves are the perfect solution for media prep, liquid, and waste loads. They are an ideal fit for small or shared laboratory facilities. They are simple to use and offer fully-featured programmable control systems with plug-and-go features.
- Our front-loading autoclaves are the top sellers for use in laboratories. The cylindrical vessel improves steam circulation, preventing cold pockets, and assures complete sterilization without excessive cycle times or chronically failed loads. These front-loading autoclaves are the perfect solution for sterilizing large volumes of liquids and are ideal for labware like tall flasks.
You might feel uncertain about exactly what autoclave features and functions are appropriate for sterilizing liquids in your lab. Priorclave has a team of seasoned experts ready to guide your laboratory autoclave purchasing decision if you are unsure which one will be a good fit. For example, if you are uncertain about whether your lab would benefit from an autoclave that loads from the top, one that loads from the front, or selecting the appropriate size for your load of laboratory containers, we are here to help.