Pure Steam Testing and Validation

Pure steam is an essential utility in many Industries. There are two type of steam, one which does not come in contact with the product and the other which comes in contact with product.

Steam which comes into contact with equipment and products needs to be pure and highly effective to deliver the results for which it is produced. Pure Steam is produced from the treated and purified water that needs to be free from contaminants and ideally it should have an effective high temperature and it should be free from water content as it is used for sterilizing products, conditioning material or process equipment with which it comes into contact.

The pure steam when condensates need to comply with the pharmacopeia parameters for injectable quality water.

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Pure steam validation is a comprehensive process that involves a series of tests and assessments to verify that the generated steam meets the established purity standards and consistently maintains its sterility throughout its utilization. This process encompasses various aspects including:

Steam Generation:

Evaluating the steam generation system to ensure it produces steam with minimal non-condensable gases, moisture, and impurities.

Steam Distribution:

Assessing the steam distribution system to prevent contamination during its transport from the generator to the point of use.

Steam Utilization:

Verifying that the steam delivered to the sterilization or disinfection point meets the required purity standards and effectively eliminates microorganisms.

As per EN285:2015 three physical tests to be conducted to check the Pure steam quality as per below:


Superheat is a measure of how hot steam is above its boiling point at a given pressure. The higher the superheat, the hotter the steam. Superheat is important for sterilization because it helps to kill microorganisms.


Dryness is a measure of the amount of moisture in steam. Dry steam is 99.9% water vapor and 0.1% moisture. Wet steam is more likely to contain impurities, which can contaminate products and equipment.

Non-Condensable Gases:

Non-condensable gases are gases that cannot be condensed into a liquid at the operating pressure of the steam system. These gases can include air, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. Non-condensable gases can interfere with the sterilization process and can also cause corrosion of equipment.

The importance of pure steam validation in pharmaceutical and medical settings cannot be overstated. It plays a pivotal role in ensuring:

Sterile Product Manufacturing:

Maintaining the purity of steam guarantees the sterility of pharmaceutical products, preventing microbial contamination that could pose serious health risks to patients.

Effective Disinfection:

Ensuring the purity of steam enables thorough disinfection of medical devices, equipment and surfaces, minimizing the risk of infection transmission.

Regulatory Compliance:

Adhering to stringent purity standards for steam is crucial for meeting regulatory requirements and maintaining patient safety.

Patient Protection:

Pure steam validation safeguards patients from potential infections and adverse health outcomes arising from contaminated steam.

A comprehensive pure steam validation program typically involves the following steps:

Risk Assessment:

Identifying potential contamination risks in the steam generation, distribution, and utilization systems.

Sampling Plan:

Developing a sampling plan that outlines the sampling locations, frequency, and methods for steam quality testing.

Testing and Analysis:

Performing a series of tests to measure non-condensable gases, moisture, microorganisms and other potential impurities in the steam.

Data Evaluation:

Analyzing the test results to determine if they meet the established purity standards and regulatory requirements.

Corrective Actions:

Implementing corrective actions if any test results exceed acceptable limits to ensure consistent steam purity.

Continuous Monitoring:

Establishing a continuous monitoring system to track steam quality parameters over time and detect any deviations from the established standards.

The benefits of pure steam validation extend beyond ensuring sterility and safety. It also contributes to:

Reduced Product Defects:

Minimizing product contamination and associated defects, leading to improved product quality and reduced production costs.

Enhanced Equipment Reliability:

Preventing corrosion and wear on equipment due to steam contamination, extending asset lifespan and reducing maintenance expenses.

Improved Process Efficiency:

Ensuring that sterilization and disinfection processes are effective and consistent, optimizing production efficiency and reducing downtime.

Compliance Assurance:

Demonstrating adherence to regulatory requirements and maintaining patient safety, fostering trust and confidence in the organization's products and practices.

MTPL provide complete solutions for testing Pure Steam, below mentioned are the testing methodology & guideline references:

PURE STEAM TESTING Non condensable test HTM01-01, EN285 and other National & International standards and custom tests Physical testing
Dryness fraction test Physical testing
Super heat test Physical testing

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