The good old days of white-hot gas jets erupting into life to incinerate unwanted lab contaminants is drawing to a close.
Especially at the community college level, but surprisingly, even in the halls of higher-level academic research institutions, more and more are turning to safer sterilizing alternatives.
The drive to flame-less laboratory sterilizing may be due to many factors including a past safety incident and a drive to limit litigious exposure.
While a benchtop autoclave is financially out of reach for many labs, a nice family of compact infrared sterilizers and glass bead sterilizers are available.
Benchtop laboratory flame-free infrared sterilizers are generally made of a ceramic core that houses an infrared furnace capable of reaching temperatures exceeding 800C, enough to sterilize platinum inoculating loops, glass pipettes, and bottle tops in about 5-7 seconds.
The flame-free design means these infrared sterilizers can be used both in aerobic and anaerobic environments.
The essential difference between these models are, the tilt feature which allows the user to control the direction of the heat source, and the size of the aperture.
While the Bactizapper XL Tilt 35mm opening is quite large, it isn't capable of sterilizing the widest range of bottle mouths and caps.
Another flame-free sterilizer alternative are glass bead sterilizers.
These benchtop sterilizers use a concealed heating element to warm thermally-conductive glass beads to temperatures nearing 300C.
Glass bead sterilizers are an excellent choice for sterilizing small but delicate laboratory tools and surgical tools like scalpels, forceps and loops.
Unlike infrared laboratory sterilizers, glass bead sterilizers remain cool to the touch and protect the end-user from any possibility of contact with the heating source.
Similar to infrared lab sterilizers, the aperture of a glass bead sterilizer remains relatively small, making them perfect for most general sterilizing needs, but unable to work with larger bottles and their caps.
As use of flame-less laboratory sterilizers continues to become wide-spread we anticipate the release of more lab sterilizing devices that will eventually completely replace the need for open-gas flames.
If your lab is looking to improve the overall safety of your laboratory technicians or if you are mandated by EHS to provide flame-free sterilizing options, Stellar Scientific has the lab sterilizers you need.