Steam sterilisation (autoclaving)

Steam sterilisation is one of the most common methods of treatment of waste. It uses saturated steam within a pressurised vessel called an autoclave at a temperature that is high enough to kill pathogenic microorganisms. Contaminated items or waste should be sterilised for 30 minutes at 121oC at a pressure of 106 kPa. You should note carefully that the timing should start only after it has reached the necessary temperature and pressure.

kPa is the abbreviation of kiloPascal, a unit of pressure.


Autoclave in a health facility. (Photo: Pam Furniss)
Last modified: Wednesday, 2 July 2014, 4:15 PM