Category Archive: Electro-Steam Articles

Why Sterilize Soil and Mushroom Substrates With Steam

For successful mushroom substrate cultivation, it’s important to implement soil steam sterilization. Soil steam sterilization is a low-pressure steam process that helps eliminate any potential pathogens, mold, contaminants, weeds, and insects from impeding the mushrooms’ growth. Here we’ll discuss the advantages and applications of this proven process.

A Time-Tested, Chemical-Free Solution

Putting soil in bags as part of steam sterilizationOriginally begun over 100 years ago, soil steaming remains one of the most well-established and reliable soil treatments. Historically, it primarily helped eliminate weeds, but many applications now use it as an alternative method to chemical solutions to eliminate diseases, pests, and contaminants.

In the 1950s, chemicals took over in popularity as a solution to most agricultural problems. Farmers came to believe that synthetic chemicals could control any type of pest or disease, but in reality, these chemical solutions were harmful to organic life and unsustainable over the long term.

Using only heat and water, steam is chemical-free and far safer to use, and its applications extend beyond soil pasteurizing to sterilizing any growing pot, tray, bench, or other isolated container. Another advantage of soil steam sterilization is the fact that, unlike chemicals, the weeds eliminated through steaming won’t grow resistant to this treatment. Steam sterilization physically damages the weed’s capillaries to prevent photosynthesis.

Soil Health

Stacks of oil substrate stored in warehouseProper soil steaming does not completely sterilize the soil, killing off both beneficial and pathogenic microbes. Rather, it’s a pasteurization process that leaves the good microbes while killing off the pathogens and weeds. Soil steaming has few lasting effects on soil quality and microbe communities. Following steam pasteurization, biodiversity returns rapidly to the soil, akin to what occurs following a forest fire. This gives mushroom substrates the ideal environment to grow and propagate.

Versatility of Steam Generation for Soil Sterilization

Steam offers more versatile applications for soil pasteurization than chemicals. In addition to soil, it works to sterilize pots, trays, benches, and other types of DIY vessels. When integrated with a steam generator, any container that can hold steam and maintain temperatures for a certain length of time is a viable autoclave. These include refrigerators, walk-in freezers, sheds, and more.
Unseen person holding mushroom substrate bag
With this in mind, you can use soil steam sterilization to reap a variety of benefits, such as:

  • Full utilization of plant assets
  • Reuse potting soil and vessels
  • Reduced labor costs
  • Elimination of harmful chemical solutions
  • Faster planting

Learn More with Electro-Steam

The benefits of using a steam sterilizer on mushroom substrates and soil make this solution ideal as a safe and versatile alternative to chemicals. Steam helps improve the efficiency of sterilization, maintains better biodiversity, and offers more operational flexibility.

Considering purchasing a steam sterilization system for your soil or mushroom substrate? Electro-Steam offers plenty of solutions, including industrial process steam generators for a range of uses. We also offer food safety sanitation systems for food and beverage applications.

Contact us today to learn more about our equipment and to find the right solution.

Conveyor Belt Maintenance & The Importance of Conveyor Belt Cleaning

Proper maintenance and cleaning of conveyor belts are crucial to prevent operational disruptions, profit loss, and productivity setbacks. Regular inspections help identify issues early on, minimizing downtime and repair expenses. In the food processing industry, maintaining cleanliness is vital to ensure belt hygiene and prevent potential health hazards for workers and consumers. However, certain belts may pose cleaning challenges, necessitating the use of appropriate solvents and techniques to meet sanitation standards.

Common Conveyor Belt Problems

Following proper conveyor belt maintenance guidelines and routinely cleaning belts can help you avoid these common conveyor belt problems. 

Material Carryback

As the name implies, material carryback is when the material on the conveyor belt is not discharged and gets carried back on the return. It can cause significant damage to other conveyor components and contribute to the contamination of new product. 

The most common reasons for material carryback include: 

  • Poor quality or improperly installed scrapers
  • Inappropriate scraper type and size
  • Poor sanitation methods

Belt Mistracking

Belt misalignment is a common issue that occurs when a conveyor belt deviates from its intended track, causing it to pull to one side. Belt mistracking can damage other system components and the belt and cause potential material spillage. 

Common causes of belt mistracking include: 

  • Material overload on the belt
  • Locked rollers or misaligned idlers or locked rollers
  • Faulty chute structure skirting
  • Crooked or worn belt splices

Belt Slippage

Conveyor belts require precise tension because too much or too little can cause the belt to slip off the pulleys. This is referred to as belt slippage and it can cause belt or motor damage. Therefore, it’s important to set the conveyor belt’s tension to the manufacturer’s specifications. 

Belt slippage is often caused by: 

  • Improperly installed head drive pulley or worn lagging
  • Material overload on the belt
  • Damaged tail pulleys or wing

Conveyor Belt Maintenance Checklist

While conveyor belt maintenance varies based on specific facility’s and manufacturer’s guidelines, below is a general overview of what most conveyor belt maintenance checklists include. 

  • Start and end the day by routinely cleaning the conveyor belt to ensure no components interfere with the belt’s function. 
  • Physically inspect conveyor drive components for any debris.
  • Inspect the conveyor belt’s entire surface for wear that could cause potential issues. 
  • Check for damaged or broken parts.
  • Check rollers for any structural or motor damage and debris buildup.
  • Check conveyor belts for proper alignment.
  • Check the conveyor belt and joints for unusual peeling or damage.
  • Check machine guard placement on belts, pulleys, sprockets, and other pinch points.
  • Ensure all emergency stops are functioning properly.

Electro-Steam Products

Modular Conveyor Belt Cleaning System

Electro-Steam’s Robotic Jet System is an automatic, safe cleaning solution for all modular conveyor belt systems. Our system uses dry vapor steam to quickly and effectively clean conveyors, making the traditional labor-intensive task easier and hands-free. The Robotic Jet System delivers pulsating dry vapor steam and uses a powerful 8″ spinner spinning at 1250 rpm, a standard feature on all our Robotic Jet Systems.

The steam cleaning technique prevents water from puddling on your facility’s floor and soiled wastewater from standard cleaning methods running to your drain. With a minimal water usage of just a few ounces per minute, the water evaporates before reaching the floor, resulting in a pile of damp soil from the conveyor cleaning process. Our Robotic Jet System is an effective, efficient, and chemical-free modular conveyor belt cleaning system that streamlines the cleaning process. 

Each of our Robotic Jet Systems is fully customized for an optimal cleaning solution based on the type of carryback and soil for your application. Our powerful dry vapor steam system can handle many contaminants, including:

  • Fats and oils
  • Allergens
  • Over-spray
  • Bacteria
  • Glazes
  • Confectionaries 

Eagle Series Brushless Conveyor Belt Cleaning System

Electro-Steam’s Eagle Series Brushless Conveyor Belt Cleaning System meets the sanitization and cleaning needs of a wide range of conveyor belt systems. The steam cleaning technology produces steam vapor that breaks down the accumulated material and sanitizes conveyor belts without requiring harsh chemicals. Then, a vacuum removes the collected material and dries the belt surface for an automated belt-cleaning solution. 

Our Eagle Series brushless conveyor cleaning system effectively cleans flat, nonporous conveyor belts used in the food and baking industries without the hassle and water waste from traditional conveyor belt cleaning options. The system meets or exceeds all regulatory food safety requirements. 

Benefits of using our brushless conveyor cleaning system include:

  • Safe and easy to use
  • FDA-approved materials
  • 95-99% Water Savings
  • Cleans and sanitizes with NO Chemicals
  • Hands-free cleaning without stopping production for less downtime
  • Reduces labor expense
  • Cleans all sizes and types of plastic and vinyl conveyor belts

Industrial Conveyor Belt Cleaning Solutions from Electro-Steam

Ensure uninterrupted operations and prolong the lifespan of your conveyor belts with Electro-Steam’s customized maintenance and cleaning systems. Our Jet System Modular Conveyor Belt Cleaning System and Eagle Series Brushless Conveyor Belt Cleaning System are designed to meet the unique needs of modular and flat belt systems, effectively removing carryback and sanitizing surfaces. Trust our powerful solutions to exceed industry standards. Contact us today for tailored conveyor belt cleaning solutions.

Industrial Electric Steam Generators Guide

Electric-fired industrial steam generators create steam from heating clean water using efficient submersive heating elements in a vessel capable of being pressurized. Various industries rely on steam generators for humidification, cleaning, sanitation, and process heating. Electric steam generators offer a safe and easy solution for various applications. Here we will explore steam generators, their applications, and their benefits to help you select the ideal solution.

Industrial Electric Steam Generators: How They Work

Electric Steam GeneratorElectric steam generators capture heat energy released during the element’s heating cycle and convert it into a usable energy resource. Heat for steam generation can be produced as a byproduct of industrial processes or intentionally to produce usable energy. 

While a direct heat source—such as a fuel-fired boiler—creates steam that is typically unclean, steam generators using electricity as a heat source create steam that is not contaminated and is suitable for direct contact applications, for example, in autoclaves for moist heat sterilization. Most electric boilers or steam generators use three-phase electricity to heat clean water to create usable steam by boiling water under pressure. Some other steam generators such as steam-to-steam units may use an existing “dirty” steam source and circulate it through heat exchangers that can be constructed in a variety of configurations, but the principle is the same.

Industrial Steam Generators Applications

The following applications depend on steam generators to provide clean steam:

  • Steam Rooms / Baths / Showers: Steam is known for its therapeutic benefits. Showers, baths, and steam rooms equipped with steam generators create a relaxing guest experience at resorts, spas, and fitness clubs.
  • Sterilizations: Steam is often used for disinfecting and sterilizing equipment in the health and medical industry, providing a heat source for autoclaves, bioreactors, and others. These types of units are used in hospitals, pharmaceutical production, and laboratories.
  • Winemaking: Wine is sensitive to contamination that can alter the product’s taste. Winemakers depend on steam generators to sanitize barrels, bottling units, and other tools to ensure the wine is not affected by contamination.
  • Brewery Steam: Small breweries like pubs and micro-breweries rely on steam generators to produce low-pressure steam. Steam is a controllable heat source for brewing or sanitizing lines, tools, and hoses.
  • Food Service: Steam generators can heat tilt skillets, jacketed steam kettles, proof boxes, and ovens in industrial kitchens. Steam is also useful for cleaning and sanitizing appliances and tools.
  • Humidification: Steam generators can humidify offices and hospitals, assist in concrete curing, or aid in adding moisture to adhesive products for stabilization.
  • Medical Steam: Steam is used extensively in the medical industry. Steam generators provide an efficient solution for various applications, from autoclaves and sanitization to adjusting air humidity levels.
  • Pharmaceutical Clean Steam: Applications like pharmaceutical production require clean steam generation for humidification, sanitization, and other processes.
  • Process Steam: Steam generators in industrial processes are low-cost, low-toxicity, easy to transport and install, and require less regulation, making them ideal for all point-of-use steam applications.
  • Phosphating and Pretreatment of Metal Surfaces: Steam generators can pre-clean and iron-phosphate metal substrates to make the surface clean and smooth and provide better adhesion for powder coating, paint, and other finishes.
  • Custom Requirements: Industrial steam generators are ideal for various custom projects, such as cleaning offshore rigs; unloading molasses, paraffin waxes, and viscous oils from trucks and railcars; sterilizing mushroom growing media; bending wood for furniture or instrument making; and many other applications.

Industrial Steam Generators Benefits

Steam generators have a compact, easy-to-use design and are an excellent solution for creating steam on demand in the location where it is needed. They can replace complex, large steam boilers or auxiliary fuel-fired boiler applications. While steam generators do not offer the maximum capacity of fuel-fired boilers, steam generators are ideal for creating dry steam for point-of-use applications.

Steam generators offer the following benefits:

  • Low-cost
  • Fast and easy startup
  • Energy-efficient
  • Portable
  • Safe

Steam Generators From Electro-Steam

Steam generators create clean and efficient steam from often unclean heat sources using a heat exchanger. Various applications rely on industrial steam generators, such as those in the garment care, medical, and brewing industries. Steam generators are an affordable, energy-efficient, and safe solution for point-of-use steam generation applications.

At Electro-Steam, each of our steam generators (except for the Hawk Series) is fabricated by an ASME-certified welder in compliance with ASME BPVC Section I – Rules for Construction of Power Boilers. Our generators also adhere to the National Board Synopsis of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Laws, Rules, and Regulations (NB-307) Rules for Construction and Stamping Section, which include ASME BPVC Section I, ASME B31.1, ASME CSD-1, and registration with the National Board.

Contact us to learn more about our industrial steam generators.

Cannabis Facility Cleaning Challenges & Solutions

Producing a high-quality cannabis product begins with ensuring that every step of the growing, harvesting, distillation, and manufacturing processes fulfill safety and sanitary standards. Most importantly, the lab where technicians extract and package cannabis for sale must be kept clean. Cleaning the equipment has traditionally been a time-consuming, labor-intensive operation involving harsh chemicals. Implementing a dry steam cleaning method is a safer, simpler, and more effective cleaning alternative.

Cleaning Challenges of Cannabis Extraction and Distillation Equipment

Cannabis manufacturing faces unique obstacles such as varying legality from state to state, limited financial options, and availability of skilled employees. Cannabis plants in production need plenty of room to grow, regulated environments, and dependable personnel. Furthermore, manufacturing cannabis products necessitates educated technicians, hygienic conditions, and safe handling techniques.

Industrial dry steam cleaners can assist with keeping lab and cannabis processing equipment sanitary for the safety of workers and clients. Usually, the harsh chemicals used to clean the equipment and lab leave noxious fumes and take more time to remove the residue. Allow your workers to spend more time producing quality products instead of removing grime with dangerous chemicals by switching to a dry steam cleaning solution.

HVAC system equipment such as coils and vents catch aerated particles and, if not meticulously cleaned, can generate harmful molds or mildew, spreading the spores throughout the facility. Furthermore, strong chemicals can clean reusable filters but can have negative side effects and are more expensive than dry steam cleaning.

How Industrial Steam Cleaning Can Help

Heat and water are required to clean and sterilize surfaces and equipment. Dry steam is an extremely effective and safe way to reduce allergens including seeds, nuts, fats, oils, grime, and seasoning on surfaces that could potentially send them airborne and cause reactions in workers.

Using a portable steam generator or a fixed clean steam process generator will allow you to remove filth from the equipment while also eradicating the following contaminants on contact: 

  • Molds
  • Mildew
  • Some viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Fungus
  • Listeria
  • Microorganisms 

There are additional advantages to the dry steam solution, such as a compact design, no venting or steam pipes required, changeable flow rates, and no need for combustible fuels.

When used in grow rooms, dry steam systems can achieve moisture levels of 6% or less, helping you maintain your set humidity level. The generator’s adjustable settings ensure that no additional water is left on tables or floors, creating a hazardous situation, harming sensitive equipment, or leaving an area that may promote growth.

Benefits of Using Steam Generators

Consider converting from hard chemical cleaning to dry steam generators for economical, economic, and safety reasons. First, after initial setup, water is less expensive than purchasing harsh chemicals on a continuous basis. Workplace injury and illness may also be reduced due to the reduction in use of harsh chemicals. Second, strong chemicals are often not environmentally safe and may endanger the quality of your plants, the surrounding area, and the facility’s air quality. Finally, the safety of the employees and the customers who use the product is of the highest importance. It is critical to reduce trace chemicals throughout production and manufacturing, and dry steam cleaning provides this option.

Electro-Steam Corporation manufactures dependable products using our extensive expertise in high-quality cleaning solutions. In addition, all dry steam cleaning equipment is made in America by our OEM manufacturing processes. Contact us when ready to grow your cannabis production operation with superior cleaning solutions!

Indirect Clean Steam Generators in Biopharma and Pharma

Like all electric steam generators, Indirect Steam Generators effectively sterilize components by injecting clean steam into piping, autoclaves, or other laboratory and production equipment so pharmaceutical professionals can easily control conditions of their processes.   Learn more about the advantages of indirect clean steam generators, the applications of clean steam, and what to look for in a high-performance generator.

Benefits and Applications of Steam Cleaning in the Biopharma and Pharma Industries

Green capsule medicine pill production line, Industrial pharmaceClean steam simplifies the process of maintaining a sterile facility by providing a no-contact yet reliable clean, even for tools with complex profiles, edging, or small interiors. The following are the top advantages of steam cleaning in the biopharma and pharma industries:

  • Prevention of contaminant entry. Unlike traditional steam, clean steam is sterile at the point of vaporization and clean steam generators do not have vulnerable entry points for biological or chemical contaminants to enter. This successfully maintains steam’s purity during the full sterilization procedure.
  • Protection against pathogen growth. The extremely high temperatures of clean steam can kill all types of microorganisms that are contamination concerns in pharmaceutical processes, and also help prevent their initial growth by handling condensate buildup.
  • Corrosion resistance. Metal parts are prone to corrosion when in the presence of traditional utility steam. Clean steam, however, has corrosion-inhibiting properties that counteract this risk. As a result, clean steam increases the life span of equipment.

Steam sterilization has many beneficial applications within the biopharma and pharma industries, particularly in  biopharmaceutical manufacturing. The goal is to keep the bacteria, yeast, or animal cells present in manufacturing environments from contaminating healthcare materials, products, and equipment. Steam sterilization, SIP and CIP can assist professionals in these industries by controlling and maintaining sterile environmental conditions, allowing safe manufacturing of things such as ophthalmic products, parenteral, injectable solutions, and more. 

Pharmaceutical companies commonly use clean steam generators for sterilize-in-place (SIP) procedures, which utilize steam to sterilize and clean pharmaceutical instruments, equipment, and surfaces between production cycles. Pharma professionals also use clean steam generators to support humidification processes for clean rooms, lyophilizers, and sterilizers.

Electro-Steam’s Steam-to-Clean Steam Generators’ Operational Characteristics

Steam-to-clean steam generators, or indirect clean steam generators, from Electro-Steam Generator Corp. capitalize on the functionality, steam output, ease of use, and footprint that standard electric steam generator varieties provide but improve upon their operation by using “house steam” energy that converts deionization (DI) or reverse osmosis (RO) water into clean steam. In contrast to the all-electric generators that use submerged electrical elements, the indirect clean steam units save on energy consumption as they use steam that your facility is already producing and then repurposes it.

Electro-Steam’s indirect generators function at pressures ranging from 9 to 90 psi.  They use an electric control circuit of 120VAC to regulate steam input, output, water level, and operating pressure within the generator automatically. Requiring only a total amperage of only 15 amps—with an 8-amp Full-Load Amperage (FLA) rating—eliminates the need for 3ph power.

Partner With Electro-Steam

As an OEM manufacturer, Electro-Steam Generator Corp. has been a leader in providing standard or customized clean steam generators for 70 years both domestically and internationally. All of our USA-made generators have all the required features such as safety valves, automatic low water cut-offs, and adjustable pressure control, with custom control and instrument packages available on request.

We currently offer our indirect steam-to-clean and all electric clean steam generator models with 138-828 lb/hr gross steam output ratings for pressures as high as 150 psig (MAWP). Our team skid-mounts all of our components as a unit, and at installation, the generators only need utility service connections. For most generators, we provide two-four week production times to best serve you, and offer same-day shipping available on most orders for parts. We also offer extended warranties as part of our commitment to excellence and superior customer service.

For additional information about our capabilities and how our safe, economical indirect clean steam generators can help support efficiency, reliability, and cleanliness in your pharmaceutical application, contact us today.