Sustainability Stewardship Matters

April 20, 2023

Electric Autoclave Considerations

As campuses race to carbon neutrality, converting from steam to low temperature hot water is a viable means to reduce carbon emissions. In laboratory and research environments, steam process loads pose one of the greatest challenges when converting this facility type. One option to consider is replacing steam autoclaves and sterilizers with electric ones. Below are 5 suggestions to assist in evaluating electric autoclaves. 


Bio-Safety Standards

An important decision to make when selecting an electric

autoclave is to ensure that it meets the bio-safety standards of the regulatory

agency with jurisdiction over your region. 


Electric Load Capacity

Electric load capacities can differ between steam and electric autoclaves.

Therefore, ensure that new feeders, circuit breakers, and associated branch

circuits are adequately sized to accommodate voltage drops and additional future units. 


Type of Boiler

An electric autoclave utilizes electric heating elements to heat water and

generate steam. This process is achieved with a steam generator (boiler).

Regarding laboratory autoclaves, there are two types of electric generators: an

Integral Boiler (mounted within the footprint of the autoclave) and a Remote

Boiler (typically for larger autoclaves) located next to the autoclave or in

another room. Confirm space availability before choosing which type to



Process Load Capacity

It is essential to understand the process load capacity and frequency of use.

Most labs maintain a database of this information. This data will assist with

the design and specification of your new electric autoclave. 


City Water Hardness/Alkalinity

Most facilities are fed with city/municipality water supply. Depending on the source of your supply, the water can have an unsafe level of hardness and alkalinity, harming your new autoclaves and even voiding the manufacturer's warranty. Ensure the water source is tested for hardness, alkalinity, and an acceptable PH level. 

Circadia Group serves as the owner’s representative to academic institutions and businesses as they pursue decarbonization. Through our program management service, we learn a lot about what is and is not working on the different programs we manage. We created this newsletter to share some of our experiences with others we know who are pursuing similar endeavors.

Circadia Group

(609) 375-2899

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