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Re: autoclaves and driftwood

Adele Davis wrote:

> Cath and Dave, help me out here, I might get this
> wrong.  An Autoclave is a steam-pressured vessel. The
> vessel is 6 feet long and 4 feet in diameter. When you
> start the machine there is no steam or pressure.  When
> activated, the autoclave fills with steam, going from
> 0 psi to 120 psi in 5 seconds.  As to the temperature
> in the autoclave, I can only guess, since I do not
> have a thermometer hooked up to it.  Suffice it to say
> that when I pull out any metal in the machine, if I
> were to touch it, I would get severe burns.

Autoclaves sterilize at 121 degrees C. or 250 degrees F, about 15 
psi. A sterilization time of 20 minutes is standard for surface 
sterilization. Dense objects, or liquids, or driftwood, can stay in for 
much longer, depending on whether you want absolute sterilization 
or just death of the bulk of flora/fauna in the wood. And yes, you 
would sustain a severe burn at that temp!
Cathy Hartland
Middletown, MD