Process Operation

The pressure and subatmospheric pressure process systems consist of a steam boiler, a processing chamber, and a vacuum pump. The system operates in batch mode. The pressure process chamber is 1 m by 0.6 m in diameter. The flushing action tends to remove noncondensable gases. The subatmospheric steam chamber is 0.45 m high by 0.3 m in diameter. Steam is injected in the top, and air and condensate are removed from the bottom.

With a chamber pressure of 2.3 bar, product exposure time was a nominal 90 seconds. Initial vacuum time was of the order of 10 minutes, and the evaporative cooling was about 5 minutes. Exposure times in the atmospheric pressure process were 2 to 6 seconds. Times for the subatmospheric steam process were not reported.

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