sterilant gases

Sterilant Gases

Uttam supplies ethylene oxide-based sterilant gases. These sterilant gases are used in the sterilization of a variety of medical devices, surgical equipment, and similar materials used in the healthcare industry. Sterilant gases are compounds used by health care and other facilities to sterilize medical supplies that cannot be sterilized by heat or steam methods. The current FDA approved sterilant gases are ethylene oxide, hydrogen peroxide and ozone. Our Specialty Gases operations utilizes special cylinder cleaning and inspection procedures to ensure the purity of these products, minimizing polymer problems.

Ethylene oxide, also called oxirane, is the organic compound with the formula C2H4O. It is a cyclic ether. This means that it is composed of 2 alkyl groups attached to an oxygen atom in a cyclic shape (circular). This colorless flammable gas with a faintly sweet odor is the simplest epoxide, a three-membered ring consisting of two carbon and one oxygen atom. Because of its special molecular structure, ethylene oxide easily participates in the addition reaction, opening its cycle, and thus easily polymerizes. Ethylene oxide is isomeric withacetaldehyde. It is a strong poison to humans, showing carcinogenic, mutagenic, irritating and narcotic effects.

The major application of ethylene oxide is for producing many chemicals and intermediates, such as ethylene glycol, ethanolamines, simple and complex glycols, polyglycol ethers and other compounds. It is also a common gas-phase disinfectant which is widely used in hospitals to sterilize heat-sensitive tools and equipment. Ethylene oxide is industrially produced by direct oxidation of ethylene in the presence of silver catalyst. It is extremely flammable and explosive and is used as a main component of thermobaric weapons therefore, it is commonly handled and shipped as a refrigerated liquid.