Difference Between Autoclave and Pressure Cooker (With Table)

An autoclave is a container that is strongly heated container to be used in chemical reactions and other processes using high pressures and temperatures. The Pressure Cooker is an airtight pot that is used to cook food quickly by applying high steam pressure with help of water which gets heated at high temperatures. 

Autoclave vs Pressure Cooker 

The difference between Autoclave and Pressure Cooker is that Autoclaves are airtight containers and are used in the sterilization of instruments that are used in chemical reactions or the medical industry. Pressure Cookers are seen in kitchens and are used to turn raw food into cooked by employing high steam pressure and not allowing the heat to escape out. 

Autoclaves are used in the microbiology industry to sterilize the medical equipments that have been used to keep it free from any type of microbes. It uses dry steam during the sterilization process. It can also be used to vulcanize rubber to increase its tensile strength or in the electronic industry to develop synthetic quartz crystals. 

Pressure Cookers carry out the cooking process by employing high pressure and steam that helps the food to cook. Airtight containers are used which elevates the internal pressures and allows higher cooking temperatures. It was invented in the 1600s as an attempt to reduce the cooking time and effort that goes with it.

Comparison Table Between Autoclave and Pressure Cooker

Parameters of ComparisonAutoclave Pressure Cooker 
Purpose It is used to sterilize medical instruments.It is used in kitchens to prepare food. 
Type of Steam usedIt uses dry steam in the sterilization process.It uses wet steam to cook food. 
IndustryIt is used in the medical field as well as in the electronic and metal industry too.It is used at home as well as at restaurants in food preparation. 
Uses Autoclaves can be used to produce synthetic quartz crystals. Cookers can be used to boil hard food items to turn them soft and make them easy to consume. 
Precautions They must not contain liquids else autoclave might explode.The parts that release out steam should be properly checked. It should not be clogged.

What is Autoclave?

An autoclave is a machine that carries out chemical and industrial processes using high pressure and temperature. It uses dry steam to function. 

In hospitals, it is used to sterilize the medical instruments and other materials employed during the surgery. It can be used on gloves, surgical instruments, and injections, glass, and rubber material. It is important to ensure that all the trapped air is removed from the instrument before use or it might lead to less efficient results. 

In electronics, it is used to make synthetic quartz crystals or molding metal to decrease the voids present in the metal and hence increase its tensile strength. Autoclaves are employed in microbiology, tattoo and piercing tasks, and also in the electronics and metal industry. 

Sterilization plays a vital role to reduce the hazardous effects of biochemical and medical waste. It makes sure that all the microbes, like fungi, bacteria, viruses get inactivated otherwise it might be harmful to humans and animals as well as the surroundings that they reside in. 

Paper and liquids materials should be sterilized in another way as there are high risks of autoclaves catching fire or getting exploded due to high pressure that exists within. 

What is Pressure Cooker?

A Pressure Cooker is an airtight container with a sealed lid that does not allow steam to escape. The steam is pushed out by its top when it gets excess inside the vessel. They use high steam pressure and temperature in order to enable the cooking of food. 

It was invented in the 1600s as an attempt to reduce the cooking time and effort that goes with it. Although the third generation cookers have been launched in the market with many new advances. It has several safety features and a digital temperature control system and does not vent steam during cooking. 

Pressure cookers are more efficient and quieter than before, and these conveniences will help make pressure cooking more popular again. Also, in some scientific researches, it has been proved that pressure cooking can play a vital role to reduce toxins from some foods. 

Foods like noodles, spaghetti, pasta, cereals, oatmeals, etc. should not be cooked in the pressure cooker as they might expand too much and create froth which might block the steam vent and reduce the efficiency of the cooker. Pressure cookers require water that heats until the desired temperature and produces wet steam which enables cooking of food.

Main Differences Between Autoclave and Pressure Cooker

  1. Autoclaves are used to sterilize medical instruments. Pressure Cookers are used in kitchens to prepare food. 
  2. Autoclaves use dry steam in the sterilization process whereas Cookers use wet steam to cook food. 
  3. Autoclave plays a major role in the medical field as well as in the electronic and metal industry. Pressure cookers are used at home as well as at restaurants in food preparation. 
  4. Autoclaves can be used to produce synthetic quartz crystals. Cookers can be used to boil hard food items to turn them soft and make them easy to consume. 
  5. An Autoclave must not contain liquids else, it might explode. Pressure cookers release out steam should be properly checked. It should not be clogged.

Conclusion

An autoclave is a machine that carries out chemical and industrial processes using high pressure and temperature. It uses dry steam to function. 

In hospitals, it is used to sterilize the medical instruments and other materials employed during the surgery. It can be used on gloves, surgical instruments, and injections, glass, and rubber material. It is important to ensure that all the trapped air is removed from the instrument before use or it might lead to less efficient results. 

A Pressure Cooker is an airtight container with a sealed lid that does not allow steam to escape. The steam is pushed out by its top when it gets excess inside the vessel. They use high steam pressure and temperature in order to enable the cooking of food. It was invented in the 1600s as an attempt to reduce the cooking time and effort that goes with it.

References

  1. https://doi.org/10.1093/ejo/cjh076
  2. https://doi.org/10.3109/10520299609117171
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