Researchers have developed a low-cost system that uses a portable solar energy collector to power an autoclave for sterilizing medical tools, reports Physics World

The sterilization of invasive medical equipment is a critical step in mitigating infection risks in healthcare settings. However, although common sterilization procedures using saturated steam in a pressurized chamber – known as an autoclave – are effective and standardized worldwide, they can be a challenge to use in remote areas without reliable energy sources.

In an effort to address this issue, a team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay have developed a novel way of generating high-temperature, high-pressure steam passively by using a portable solar energy collector. This steam is used to drive a typical small-clinic autoclave. The researchers describe their system in the journal Joule.

Read more in Physics World