Archive: Jan 2024

The Different Types of Steam in Industrial Steam Generation

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Industrial facilities rely on different types of steam to manage tasks ranging from consistent heating and processing to managing sanitation. There are many steam types available, and choosing the right one for a given application is essential. At Electro-Steam, we provide steam generation systems suitable for a wide variety of industrial steam needs. This guide will break down the different types of steam frequently used in industrial contexts to help you find the type you need for your facility.

Types of Steam

Learn more about the different benefits and applications of these common types of industrial steam.

Dry Steam

Dry steam is a type of steam with no lingering liquid in the fluid. All of the liquid has been changed to a vapor. Superheated steam, for example, has been heated to the point where no liquid remains. Other steams can act as dry steam, provided there’s a built-in method to capture the liquid before it reaches an application surface.

Saturated Steam

Saturated steam is a specialized type of dry steam. While there may be some liquid remaining in the vapor, it can be easily trapped and contained. In saturated steam, the steam is at boiling point (212 °F) at atmospheric pressure or higher at increased pressure levels. Because of the relationship between pressure and temperature, steam equipment can increase the boiling point by increasing the pressure.

Saturated steam is commonly used in pharmaceutical production applications because it can provide rapid but even heating and has a high heat transfer coefficient. Operators can also fine-tune the temperature through pressure controls.

The Different Types of Steam in Industrial Steam Generation

Superheated Steam

Containing less than 1% moisture, superheated steam is another type of dry steam that is hotter than its boiling point at atmospheric pressure. Superheated steam can reach higher temperatures and lower densities compared to saturated steam at the same pressure point. It can also be cooled without returning to liquid form or producing condensate.

This resistance to becoming liquid makes it an ideal choice for applications like powering the movement of turbines. The steam can move through the nozzles and push the turbine blades, spinning the shaft that generates power, all without presenting the risk of returning to liquid and causing corrosion. It stays ultra-dry throughout its use.

However, there are some drawbacks to superheated steam. It can have varying temperatures even at a steady pressure and has a lower heat transfer coefficient than other steams. Superheated steam won’t release latent energy until it reaches the right level of saturation. Also, because it does reach such high temperatures, it requires specialized equipment that can handle it.

Utility Steam

Utility steam is a type of saturated steam. Most industrial steam processes use utility steam, which contains both latent and sensible energy. Unlike Electro-Steam’s equipment, traditional boilers usually treat feed water with additives that prevent it from corroding boilers or other equipment. This steam is usually classified by low, medium, or high pressure levels. In traditional boilers, utility steam also needs to run through a filter to remove rust, condensate, and other particulates that can contaminate the steam. Even then, utility steam is usually not used in direct contact with products or food but is a means to transfer energy to the relevant process.

While utility steam is used for boilers and a wide range of industrial applications, it’s not clean enough for culinary, medical, or pharmaceutical needs.

Culinary Steam

Culinary steam is regulated by the FDA to ensure any chemical additives designed to prevent rust comply with applicable health and safety regulations. It’s commonly used to sterilize surfaces used in food processing and preparation operations. Along with meeting FDA standards, culinary steam must comply with 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. (SSI) Accepted Practice 3A-609-03, meet other company-specific policies, and use filtering systems.

Filtered Steam

Filtered steam undergoes a filtering process to remove additives or contaminants so it can be more safely used in sterilization applications.

Clean Steam or Pure Steam

Clean/Pure steam doesn’t have additives and is produced from heating purified water (RO), highly purified water (DI), or water for injection (WFI). Clean/Pure steam can be used in pharmaceutical, healthcare, and medical contexts.

Clean steam is generated by systems that use saturated steam, and the resulting condensate can be classified as water for injection, such as saline solutions. Clean steam itself can be used in other various processes such as humidification and sanitation in which contamination cannot be present. Clean steam systems are made from high-grade stainless steel components, piping, and other non-porous materials.

Choose the Right Steam System for Your Facility

VB 10-40 Electric Steam GeneratorsDifferent types of steam have very different characteristics, can be used in specific applications, and meet the requirements of various health and industry standards. Now that you know the distinctions between various types of dry steam vs. wet steam, you’re ready to begin selecting the right steam system for your facility. Electro-Steam provides 100% American-made steam generators for food processing, cleanroom, medical processing, sterilization, and other industrial applications.

Contact the team at Electro-Steam to find the right steam generation system for your needs.

How Steam Has Become a Popular Way to Sanitize Food Processing Equipment

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Dry steam sanitizing is a widely used cleaning method for a wide range of food and beverage applications. Commercial steam cleaning for food processing equipment is versatile and efficient, offering many benefits for companies across the food supply chain.

Here we’ll look at food safety challenges and how dry steam sanitizing can help meet them.

Challenges of Meeting Food Safety Standards

The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) sets requirements for sanitization and food safety best practices in food processing and related facilities. While cleanliness and response to foodborne illness outbreaks have always been emphasized, prevention of foodborne illness is the major priority of this legislation.

As a result, food growers, manufacturers, producers, packagers, and transporters must do all they can to protect their products from pathogens. This is in addition to keeping equipment and facilities clean from oils and grease, food residues, insects, and allergens to avoid contamination.

cookies on conveyor beltFood processing and manufacturing facilities, such as confectionaries, bakeries, commercial kitchens, beverage producers, and canneries, must maintain clean, sanitary equipment which is traditionally time-consuming and risks damage to equipment and injury to workers. Cleaning and sanitizing is often a multi-step process that may involve taking equipment offline, disassembling conveyors and machinery, and using intensive washing, scraping, brushing, and vacuuming techniques. Then, components must be dried and reassembled before production resumes.

How Dry Steam Mitigates Those Challenges

To keep up with the strict requirements of the FSMA, many facilities turn to dry steam sanitization. Unlike water or wet steam, such as the steam produced during cooking, dry steam is slightly superheated so that it contains less than 10% moisture content.

A dry steam generator produces hot-dry steam, which is sprayed at high pressures and temperatures on and into equipment to clean and sanitize it quickly without chemicals, or in some cases, disassembly. As the steam evaporates, it leaves little to no moisture behind so that surfaces are clean, dry, and ready to be used again, much faster than traditional methods.

Dry steam can be used for applications like:

  • Degreasing oils and fats
  • Sanitizing multiple surfaces, floors, conveyor belts, and food equipment
  • Killing pathogens including listeria and E.coli
  • Killing molds
  • Cleaning and removing residues and traces of ingredients

There are many benefits of steam sanitization. It is especially useful in settings where equipment, ingredients, and products must stay dry like bakeries, dry and powdered ingredient processing facilities, and packaging operations. Steam reaches areas inside and around equipment that are difficult to clean with other methods. Dry steam cleaning also reduces the time for drying and reassembling equipment so it can be brought back online quickly.

Our Steam Generators for Food Processing Cleaning

At Electro-Steam, we manufacture multiple types of steam sanitization systems for use across the food and beverage industry. Options include:

Eagle Series Dry Steam Cleaners

Our Eagle Series Dry Steam Cleaners are portable and have an operating pressure of 5 to 160 psi. All models include:

  • Dual pressure controls (UL 353 compliant)
  • Low level cut-off (LLCO) (UL 353 compliant)
  • Safety relief valve with ASME V mark (built by an ASME-certified manufacturer)
  • A steam gun/20-foot hose combo and a 52-tool accessories kit are included with every unit

Steam Master Series by Menikini

Menikini Steam MasterThe Steam Master by Menikini series is European Conformity (EC) compliant and has an operating pressure of 145 psi. Additional features are:

  • Automatic pressure control
  • Low level cut-off (LLCO) with alarm
  • Solution/detergent tank
  • Adjustable temperature regulator
  • 12 Bbr (174 psi) safety relief valve
  • A steam gun/20-foot hose combo and a 52-tool accessories kit are included with every Steam Master

Conveyor Belt Cleaning Systems

Electro-Steam’s fully automated or robotic conveyor belt cleaning systems simplify the process of cleaning and sanitizing conveyor belts without chemicals and without dismantling the belt systems. These systems use FDA-approved materials that can clean vinyl, mesh, and plastic conveyor belts to meet the highest industry standards. They also utilize much less water than traditional cleaning methods, saving facilities between 95%-99% of their normal water allocation for conveyor belt sanitizing.

Learn More About Steam Sanitization for Food Processing

Steam sanitization is an efficient, trusted method for cleaning and sanitizing equipment while ensuring food safety. Using the right equipment from Electro-Steam for your operations saves time, money, and labor while complying with industry regulations.

Our expert team can help you select the ideal solution for your facility and application. Contact us today to learn more about our dry steam solutions.

Why Winemakers Have Adopted Steam Sterilization

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Winemakers must sanitize winemaking equipment properly to maintain the wine’s quality. Traditionally, winemakers relied on chlorinated materials, trisodium phosphate (TSP), and soda ash solutions to sterilize barrels and tanks. However, contemporary winemaking has shifted towards safer, more effective methods, such as winery steam. It offers a sustainable and highly effective alternative, addressing critical concerns and setting exceptional sanitation standards.

Learn more about why winemakers are adopting steam sterilization over other methods.

Elimination of Chlorinated Water for Sanitization

Wooden barrels and large aluminum barrels wine factoryTraditionally, winery sanitation followed a simple path—using TSP, chlorinated solutions, or soda ash solutions to clean barrels and tanks, then washing it down with chlorinated water. However, winemakers discovered that trichloroanisole developed in the wine when specific bacteria fed on chlorinated water, resulting in contaminated ‘corked’ wine. This contamination could originate from corks but also sources in drains, barrels, tanks, and even wood and cardboard materials in cellars.

In response to this revelation, chlorine-based cleaning products were phased out. Companies pivoted towards ozone treatment and dry steam sterilization, alternatives to upholding stringent hygiene standards.

Why Steam Is Better for Winemaking

Steam cleaning has emerged as an advanced and eco-conscious technique in sanitizing wine bottles and equipment, offering numerous benefits compared to traditional cleaning methods. For example, steam can reach all areas of the barrel, including tight spots like the gaps between copper pipes and intricate crevices in stainless steel tanks. Additionally, due to their high temperatures and pressurized nature, wine barrel steamers are effective at killing hidden microorganisms and bacteria, ensuring a sanitary environment for fermenting and aging wine.

By adopting this innovative approach, wineries improve aromas and flavors, reaping the benefits of  steam cleaning and improving the winemakers’ quality, sustainability, and reputation.

Steam vs. Ozone Treatment

Wineries prefer using dry steam over ozone for cleaning because it saves water and is better for the environment. Ozone cleaning involves converting ozone gas to liquid, which requires high water consumption. The ozone is also toxic in high concentrations, so workers require additional protection from exposure.

Dry steam, created at high temperatures without extra moisture, efficiently cleans wine barrels, tanks, and equipment without toxic chemicals. Steam sterilization helps wineries address both water conservation concerns and health and safety concerns.

Steam vs. Conventional Cleaning Agents

Using dry steam for cleaning minimizes the environmental impact of sanitization. Compared to traditional methods, steam cleaning uses very little water, avoids introducing chemicals into production, and produces wastewater that is not toxic. These benefits make steam sterilization an appealing choice for companies aiming to showcase their commitment to sustainability.

Unlike conventional cleaning agents that need time to work on surfaces, wine barrel steamers are much quicker, resulting in significantly less downtime and more efficient use of labor. Steam sterilization also helps wineries eliminate the risk of chemical residues affecting wine flavors.

Learn More About Our Steam Generators for Winemaking

Cleaning wine equipment is crucial in the winemaking and bottling process, and has direct impacts on the wine’s quality and consumer safety. Thorough cleaning ensures the removal of potential contaminants from previous batches, preserving the wine’s purity and complex flavors.

Steam sterilization is the best way to effectively clean wine equipment. It is safer, more efficient, and more effective than conventional cleaning agents and ozone treatments. Electro-Steam is a leading provider of steam generators, with a variety of models and accessories to meet your winery’s needs. When you get your steam generators from us, you can expect:

  • Standard 5-year warranty on chambers and 1-year warranty on all other components
  • Standard stainless steel cabinet and electrical panel
  • 98% efficiency without feedwater preheating
  • 2-4 week production
  • ASME, CRN, UL, cUL or CE compliance

Contact us to learn more about our winery steam cleaning solutions.