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How Do Indirect Steam to Clean Steam Generators Work?

An indirect clean steam generator is a type of high-pressure steam generator that is used to generate clean steam from an existing source of non-clean steam already present in a facility. Clean steam is commonly used in industries where sanitization and product purity and quality are paramount, such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, cosmetics, and biotechnology.

Here we will look at how indirect clean steam generators work, their benefits, and some common applications and use cases for clean steam.

Steam to Clean Steam Generators Explained

Clean steam is created in a specialized generator called an indirect clean steam generator. These generators are made of stainless steel and carefully welded for a complete seal and no leaks. They must be operated with a dedicated supply of purified water, which is often collected via reverse osmosis or deionization processes. To be considered clean, these systems may not use a standard boiler or the facility’s regular feed water supply.

The purified water is heated to boiling inside the indirect generator, with heat diverted from any other standard high-pressure steam generator or boiler system, and then piped to the indirect generator. It’s even possible to integrate an existing steam generator into a clean steam system to recapture excess heat generated during other processes. Neither the two water sources nor the two steams may mix, and only the heat is transferred.

The resulting steam created from purified water is free of additives and impurities that could contaminate, alter, or damage products or equipment. Clean steam generation is often used in conjunction with clean-in-place (CIP) and sanitize-in-place (SIP) processes.

Benefits of Clean Steam Generators

Clean steam generators offer several benefits including:

  • Decreased Energy Consumption. Clean steam generators recapture heat energy from existing high-pressure steam sources in your facility, so they significantly reduce energy consumption.
  • Reduced Corrosion Potential. Standard steam generation systems may be treated with corrosion-inhibiting additives; however, clean steam systems are made from stainless steel, which is naturally corrosion-resistant. This eliminates the need for additives.
  • Prevention of Microbial Growth. Clean steam generation maintains temperatures that prevent microbial growth. They are also designed to eliminate standing or condensed water collection throughout the system, which keeps microbes and endotoxins out of the steam.
  • Less Risk of Product Contamination. Clean steam generators use no boiler additives, particulates, or volatile substances that may contaminate or alter products.
  • Popular Choice for Food Production. Already common in pharmaceutical production facilities, clean steam systems are also used in food and beverage production facilities to minimize potential contamination from standard steam generation methods.

What are the Applications for Clean Steam Generators?

Clean steam is used in these and other applications:

  • High-purity product manufacturing such as cosmetics or plant extracts
  • SIP systems for cleaning equipment following CIP processes in pharmaceutical facilities
  • Situations in which pure steam is not specified, such as non-injectable sterile pharmaceutical products or biopharmaceuticals regulated by the FDA
  • Removing oils, fats, or protein and flavoring residues from food processing equipment
  • Sterilizing equipment and instruments in hospitals

Choose a Steam Generator From Electro-Steam

Electro-Steam is a steam generator OEM focused on innovative electric-fired steam generators and boilers. Our high-quality generators and products are manufactured in the US with safety and longevity in mind. Each unit has a 98% efficiency rate and is easy to operate and maintain.

Contact us to speak with a specialist about our indirect clean steam generators or to learn more about our capabilities.