When materials in a lab or hospital need to be sterilized, the most common method to do so is with an autoclave. An autoclave uses steam to sterilize equipment used by surgeons and lab workers. It is the most efficient method of sterilization in terms of power consumption and sterilization efficiency. Other methods like incineration or dry heat sterilization use a lot of fuel and take a long time to sterilize, and often are complicated to operate and require high-level maintenance to run properly, but autoclaves don't go without their specifics too. The steam used in an autoclave can't be too high a temperature or have too much moisture, otherwise the steam cannot penetrate the load to be cleaned well enough and the sterilization is inefficient. Too much moisture in the steam can leave a wet environment after the sterilization, a good environment for bacteria to live if they have not been all killed off. Autoclaves can come in smaller, desktop forms or large devices that can sterilize many tools and devices at once.
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