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Zero Emissions

Andersen's Zero Emissions abators remove 99% of the ethylene oxide emissions EtO from the exhaust stream

Over 60 years protecting your patients, instruments & environment

Andersen’s exclusive EO-Flexible Chamber Technology (EO-FCT) and abatement system work together to drastically limit EO consumption and emissions.


On this page:


Ethylene Oxide Emissions EtO Abatement explained

How our Abators Work

Andersen EO abators are a simple, cartridge-based system that employ a dry catalyst resin. Resin converts ethylene oxide to biodegradable organic compounds.

The abator removes more than 99% of the EO in the exhaust stream, resulting in a fraction of a gram of total EO emissions over the course of a multi-hour cycle. This tiny amount of EO is vented to the outside where it disperses rapidly, quickly becoming undetectable. Effectively making the process zero emission. 

Each replaceable cartridge lasts 200 sterilization cycles. Spent cartridges are non-hazardous and may be discarded in most landfills or returned to Andersen for disposal.

Installation is simple. The abator attaches easily to all new Anprolene and EOGas 4 sterilizers. If you have an older model, call your rep for guidance.

A similar abator is available for EOGas 3 sterilizers.


Anprolene Emissions by the Numbers

Single cycle emissions for an Anprolene sterilizer:

An Anprolene sterilizer releases 17.6 grams over a 14 hour sterilization/purge cycle, or 1.26 grams/hour.

WITH an ABATOR, an Anprolene system releases 0.176 grams/cycle.

TYPICAL ANPROLENE EMISSIONS:
Typical Anprolene Emissions
Maximum Potential Anprolene Emissions:

An Anprolene sterilizer that is operated for 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, still only emits a total of 24 lbs. of EO per year.

With an abator this maximum potential reaches 0.24 lbs.

To put these numbers in perspective, the US EPA does not require abatement of an EO emissions source until volume exceeds 2,000 lbs.

Check the Math

Emissions Data for Andersen Anprolene Sterilization System:

The Andersen Anprolene sterilizer uses a 17.6 gram, 100% ethylene oxide (EO) cartridge. The cycle time is 12-hours of sterilization with a 2-hour aeration cycle, for a total 14-hour minimum cycle (some loads may require additional aeration).

Annual Emissions based on typical usage:Without AbatorWith Abator
Light use (one cycle per week): 2 lb/.92 kg0.02 lb/0.01 kg
Medium use (two cycles per week):4 lb/1.83 kg0.04 lb/0.02 kg
Heavy use (five cycles a week):10 lb/4.57 kg0.1 lb/0.05 kg
Annual Maximum Emissions:24.3 lb/11 kg0.24 lb/0.11 kg

Annual Maximum Emissions calculations:1

  • Hours in a year: 365 x 24 = 8,760
  • Maximum potential number of Anprolene cycles in a year:2 8,760/14 hour cycle = 625.7
  • Maximum potential grams used per year: 626 x 17.6 = 11,018
  • Maximum potential emissions per year: 11,018/454 = 24.3 lb/11 kg

Hourly Emissions calculations:

  • Anprolene releases 17.6 g over a 14 hour sterilization/aeration cycle, or approximately 1.26 grams/hour.
  • WITH an abator, the Anprolene system releases 0.176 grams/cycle, or approximately .0126 grams/hour.

1: The Annual Maximum Emissions calculation assumes that a sterilizer is run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for all 365 days of a year. This calculation is used by some regulatory agencies to determine the maximum potential emissions from a system. It does not include additional aeration time and does not reflect the usage or the emissions of a typical user/facility.

2: Assumes no additional aeration. In practice, many loads will require 12 to 24 hours of additional aeration in the cabinet.


EOgas 4 Emissions by the Numbers

Single cycle emissions for an EOGas 4 sterilizer:

The EOGas 4 sterilizer releases 17.6 grams over a 3.5 hour sterilization/purge cycle, or 5 grams/hour.

WITH an ABATOR, an Anprolene system releases 0.176 grams/cycle.

TYPICAL EOGAS 4 EMISSIONS:
Typical EOGas 4 Emissions
Maximum Potential eogas 4 Emissions:

An EOGas 4 sterilizer that is operated for 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, still only emits a total of 96.5 lb. of EO per year.

With an abator this maximum potential reaches 0.96 lbs.

To put these numbers in perspective, the US EPA does not require abatement of an EO emissions source until volume exceeds 2,000 lbs.

Check the Math

Emissions Data for Andersen EOGas 4 Sterilization System:

The Andersen EOGas 4 sterilizer uses a 17.6 gram, 100% ethylene oxide (EO or EtO) cartridge. The cycle time is 3 hours of sterilization with a 0.5-hour purge cycle, for a total 3.5-hour minimum cycle (some loads may require additional aeration).

Annual Emissions based on typical usage:Without AbatorWith Abator
Light use (one cycle per week): 4 lb / 1.8 kg0.04 lb / 0.02 kg
Medium use (two cycles per week):10 lb / 4.5 kg0.1 lb / 0.5 kg
Heavy use (five cycles a week):20 lb / 9.1 kg0.2 lb / 0.09 kg
Annual Maximum Emissions:96.5 lb / 43.8 kg0.96 lb / 0.44 kg

Annual Maximum Emissions calculations:1

  • Hours in a year: 365 x 24 = 8,760
  • Maximum potential number of Anprolene cycles in a year:2 8,760/3.5 hour cycle = 2,503
  • Maximum potential grams used per year: 2,503 x 17.6 = 43,800
  • Maximum potential emissions per year: 43,800/454 = 96.5 lb / 43.8 kg

Hourly Emissions calculations:

  • EOGas 4 releases 17.6 g over a 3.5 hour sterilization/aeration cycle, or approximately 5 grams/hour.
  • WITH an abator, the EOGas 4 system releases .0126 grams/cycle, or approximately .05 grams/hour.

1: The Annual Maximum Emissions calculation assumes that a sterilizer is run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for all 365 days of a year. This calculation is used by some regulatory agencies to determine the maximum potential emissions from a system. It does not include additional aeration time and does not reflect the usage or the emissions of a typical user/facility.

2: Assumes no additional aeration. In practice, many loads will require 12 to 24 hours of additional aeration in the cabinet.


Ethylene Oxide Emissions EtO Comparison Graphic

EO Emissions in Perspective

A number of customers have contacted us regarding news articles reporting high emission levels from commercial EO sterilization plants. They ask how these systems compare to an Andersen sterilizer’s emissions.

The simple answer? There is no comparison.

Commercial EO sterilization facilities operate large pallet chambers that can release hundreds of thousands of pounds (in some instances, over three tons) of EO into the environment per year. In contrast, all Andersen sterilizers, when equipped with an abator, emit under a pound of EO per year.


Emissions Regulations in the United States

In the US, emission standards are managed nationally by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). EPA does not require emissions abatement of ethylene oxide exhaust until volume exceeds 1 ton / year. At under 1 lb. / year, the Andersen Sterilization Systems’ emissions meet (and exceed) all US national and state regulations.

In the United States, ethylene oxide (EO) emissions at the Federal level are governed by EPA Title V requirements, which state:

  1. Sterilization sources using less than 1 ton (2,000 lbs. / 907 kg) are not subject to the emissions standards in §63.362 (i.e. there are no Federal requirements for emissions abatement at this level)
  2. Sterilization sources using less than 1 ton (2,000 lbs. / 907 kg) are not subject to the emissions standards in §63.362 (i.e. there are no Federal requirements for emissions abatement at this level)