Bioreactor disinfection methods

Jun 15, 2023

When the cleaning of the fermentation system is completed, the next step is to disinfect the fermentation tank with empty tanks.


Definition: Removal of bad or unwanted impurities from the space to a harmless level of cleanliness or within a certain space, removing microparticles, volatile harmful substances, bacteria and other contaminants from the space.

Method: The most common method is to use steam to sterilize and disinfect empty tanks. The conventional method of empty sterilization, using steam to sterilize the tank, the operation includes opening steam, exhausting air, keeping pressure, draining water, opening sterile air, etc., which is generally operated manually.

Advantages of the steam empty tank sterilization method

High steam temperature penetration


The latent heat of steam is large, which can rapidly raise the temperature of the object, and the penetrating power of steam molecules is strong, which can easily make the protein coagulate and denature.


Steam sterilization without pollution and residue


Steam is generated by steam generator by heating water without adding any chemical ingredients, which guarantees the safety of sterilization from the source. In addition, the sterilization process does not produce any physical pollution, which can truly achieve no pollution and no residue. After the sterilization is finished, it does not produce any waste gas and waste water, which saves the trouble of emission.


Short sterilization time and high efficiency


In autoclaving, the sterilization temperature increases with the increase in steam pressure, which can greatly reduce the sterilization time and improve efficiency. The saturated steam flows dynamically in the sterilizer, and the steam heat is evenly distributed on the medical devices, and the bacteria are quickly killed under the effect of high temperature and pressure.


Research shows. When the steam temperature reaches 132or higher and is maintained for 10 minutes, it can kill all microorganisms, including budding spores and spores, which have tenacious resistance.

Advantages of hot water empty tank sterilization

Faster and more thorough sterilization


The use of hot water is faster and more thorough than the use of steam when exhausting the air from the tank through the temperature gradient of each heat transfer layer. Inside the air elimination operation, exhausting air is a very critical operation.


With the presence of less than 1mm of air, the steam is conducted from 121°C to the air separation and drops to just over 100°C. As you can imagine, at this temperature, the sterilization operation will not meet the requirements if it is maintained for 30min. The hot water air elimination, due to the obvious difference in specific gravity, the use of hot water exhaust than the use of steam exhaust to be more rapid and more thorough.


More energy-saving sterilization process


The only heat loss in hot water empty tank sterilization is the radiation heat conducted to the outside world, while the steam empty tank sterilization process, exhaust and drainage take away a lot of energy.


Highly reliable and consistent sterilization results with a high degree of automation


This is the same as the CIP automatic cleaning technology, using hot water air elimination, more conducive to the logic of the automated system to determine. The hot water air elimination reduces the labor intensity of personnel, ensures the exhaust effect and guarantees the sterilization without dead space. All these ensure a high degree of reliability and consistency in sterilization.


Currently, in the sanitary field of pharmaceuticals and food, etc., empty tank sterilization systems and in-situ cleaning systems are basically integrated, and SIP systems are used in combination with CIP systems to ensure the best cleaning and sterilization results.



YOCELL has rich experience in manufacturing various types of reactors and pressure vessels. We have a team of experts in the field of bioreaction, fermentation process, machinery manufacturing and automation control to provide you with a comfortable, reassuring and secure product experience.

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