|Ethylene oxide is a broad-spectrum, highly effective gas disinfectant. Also known as ethylene oxide, it has strong penetrating power to disinfect items, can reach the deep part of the items, and can kill most pathogenic microorganisms, including bacterial propagules, spores, viruses and fungi. Both gas and liquid have a strong antimicrobial effect, and the gas has a stronger effect, so the gas is more used. It is currently believed that ethylene oxide kills microorganisms because it can have non-specific alkylation with microorganisms' protein, DNA and RNA. Take protein as an example. The carboxyl, amino, sulfhydryl, and hydroxyl groups on the protein are alkylated, which hinders the normal biochemical reaction and metabolism of the protein, leading to the death of microorganisms. Ethylene oxide is converted into ethylene glycol by hydrolysis, which also has a certain bactericidal effect.
Ethylene oxide is widely used in medical disinfection and industrial sterilization. It is commonly used for gas fumigation and disinfection of foodstuffs, textiles, medical equipment and other methods that cannot be disinfected for heat-unstable drugs and surgical equipment.