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Boiling Point
Published: December 14, 2021

Q: Do you have usable detergents above boiling temperature?  Any to consider that could withstand such high temps?

A: Great question.  There are several uses currently in play across many industries where detergents are used at or near boiling temperatures.

For use of detergents above the boiling point, a couple of factors need to be discussed.  Aqueous detergents require water to be in a solution. As long as there is liquid water in the vessel/line to keep the detergent in solution, the detergent will be able to form micelles and remove residues from the surfaces which it contacts (line, tanks, nozzles, etc.).  Superheated or pressurized water will be above the boiling point yet still be in a liquid form. Thus, it will work as expected.

If the water leaves its superheated state, either the pressure is too low or the temp is higher than the pressure needs to be, steam will develop.  At this point, the detergent solution will only be able to work on surfaces that the water reaches. So, if during the cleaning process, there are areas that only receive steam contact, they will not be cleaned by the detergent solution. Thus the vessel/system needs to be pressurized to keep the washing solution fluid below steam formation.

The best practice would be to use hot, but below boiling temperature conditions for the cleaning and proceed with sanitization procedures after.  Heat accelerates cleaning for most residues.  While likely to be inefficient for the cleaning, the high heat, including above the boiling temperature, will not damage the detergent itself.

We are happy to discuss your particular application further.

To request an Alconox Inc. detergent for free, please complete the questionnaire at Get Sample. For more information about any one of our Alconox Inc. detergents, consult the technical bulletin for each product. Or click here to access each of our detergent’s Safety Data Sheets.

Do you have a critical cleaning question for the experts at Alconox Inc.?  Search TechNotes to see if it’s been answered before or Ask Alconox.

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