Sugar Industry Technologists Inc.

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2018 Meeting: Bonita Springs, Florida

The papers presented at the Meeting are listed below, linked to an abstract of the paper.

#1180  Keynote Speaker

#1181  Developments in the repeatability of Cooling Crystalliser performance

#1182  Powder Characteristics of Granulated Sugar in Japan

#1183  Use of Multifunctional Adsorbents as a Pretreatment Improves GAC/IER Column Performance

#1184  Energy and Water Efficiency in 2018 at Redpath - Recent Progress in Toronto and the Use of Simple Data Analysis in ASR's Pursuit of Sustainability

#1185  Efforts for reducing the Thermo-Acidophilic Bacilli levels to Japanese major company's requirement

#1186  Molasses Filtration with Automatic Discharge of Dry Solids

#1187  Zero Effluent Ion Exchange Resins Decolorization System in Sugar Refineries

#1188  Symposium A : Sustainability

#1189  Efforts to Reduce the Colour Load of Raw Sugar Entering a Sugar Refinery

#1190  Policy makers and political masters

#1191  Development of a Linear Pan Growth Approach (Part II)

#1192  Improving the repeatability of low side sugar colour management

#1193  White Sugar Ash Control via Recovery Sugar Color Control

#1194  Selection of the Operating Parameters in Sugar Crystallisation Control

#1195  VHP refineries with sugar yield of over 98.5% by production of value added granular brown sugar

#1196  Symposium B : Improving Yield


#1197  New Approaches for Determination of Dextran in the Sugar Production Process

#1198  Enhanced phosphatation clarification performance for improved production efficiency and product quality in sugar refineries

#1199  Novel Technologies: Run Off Treatment for Sugar Refineries



Mr. Robert H. Buker Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Sugar Corporation, Clewiston, Florida, USA

No abstract available at this time.

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Chris Mayhew, Carlton Haynes, Robert Howe, David Cooper, Craig Parker - British Sugar

Several alternatives exist for introducing seed crystals in vacuum pans (e.g. Ditmar seeding, Mother/daughter systems and Brunswick seeding). British Sugar predominantly uses Cooling Crystalliser technology to generate the Brunswick Seed for its white pans. As reported at the 2017 SIT conference in Taiwan (paper #1153 - Linear Pan Growth), the operational consistency of a batch white pan and the resultant crystal particle size of the final product is very closely related to the consistency of the seed crystals introduced (particle size and number).

This paper reports on the developments at both the Bury and Wissington factories between 2016 and 2018, focusing on improving the repeatability of the Brunswick Seed produced. It will also present British Sugar's current approach to the operation of Cooling Crystallisers and our developments towards what we see as best practice.

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Miki Sakazaki, Research Section, Research and Development Division, Mitsui Sugar, Japan

Caking of sugar is a problem in Japan with its high humidity throughout the year as well as its four distinct seasons. White soft sugar, which is the most commonly consumed sugar in Japan, often causes customer complaints about caking. However, no method has been established to physicochemically express and evaluate the caking phenomenon. Therefore, this research is focused on the powder characteristics of sugar as one factor that causes caking.

In general, the caking of sugar is caused by environmental changes, namely changes in humidity levels, the dissolution and recrystallization of crystal surfaces, and the adhesion of crystals. Many and complicated factors are related to it, but they can be broadly classified into the characteristics of sugar itself as an internal factor, and packaging condition, storage environment, etc. as external factors. In this research, crystal shapes, particle size distribution and Carr's flowability index were used to clarify the powder characteristics of sugar as an internal factor. Granulated sugar with its simple surface texture was chosen for evaluation and our company's products were compared internally as well as with those of our competitors.

This research is only the first phase to establish a method to evaluate caking. We will continue to examine the correlation between the powder characteristics of sugar and caking.

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Idalberto Delgado and Jerry Lengen - Sugar Segment, Graver Technologies; 200 Lake Drive; Glasgow, DE 19702, USA

Insufficient column life between regeneration cycles, due to one or more of the following: poor raw/clarified sugar quality; diminished decolorizing capacity near the end of the cycle; or reduced flow from excess turbidity; is often a problem in refineries utilizing regenerable columns, whether GAC, IER, or bone char. As a result, the color after decolorization is often higher than desired, leading to reduced operating rates through the columns and/or reduced refined sugar yields. Reduced color and/or turbidity in the feed to the regenerable columns will extend their operating cycles and improve their capacity utilization.

Full scale plant trials were conducted using Ecosorb® multi-functional adsorbents as a pretreatment of the carbonated liquor after primary filtration, either as a continuous slurry addition; as a precoat on the secondary (polish) filters; or as a combination of continuous slurry addition plus precoat; before GAC or IER. In all 3 approaches, the adsorbent is removed using the existing secondary filters - no additional filtration equipment is required.

The results show that use of non-regenerable (powder) multi-functional adsorbent with high adsorption capacity and excellent flow characteristics, used in low dosages, prior to regenerable columns: 1.) allows the use of lower quality raw sugar without any increase in color going to crystallization; and/or 2.) results in much lower color going to crystallization using "standard" raw sugar.

In case #2, the refiner can either increase his refined sugar yield by modifying the washing procedures to reduce losses while producing the same refined sugar quality as before, or by keeping the washing procedures the same as before, and producing lower color refined sugar, which may be of value in certain markets.

The economic and operational advantages of reduced washing can be quite large, resulting in both increased refined sugar production, and energy savings, since less run-off is generated, reducing both steam and power consumption required to re-crystallize the run-off.

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George Carter, Redpath Sugar - ASR Group, Toronto, Canada

Energy and water efficiency has been a passion for Redpath Sugar for over 15 years. While much of the focus has been on incremental improvement supported by simple data analysis tools, there have been some recent changes in the operation that have significantly influenced energy and water efficiency. This paper will review these changes, including a recent conversion to liquid CO2 for carbonatation and changes in the standard work by the refinery supervisors to deliver consistent plant performance. The discussion will also provide an overview of ASR current thinking on how data analysis can be used to assist sustainability efforts across our diverse organization.

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Naoyuki Matsuda, Quality Control Section, Fukuoka Factory, Mitsui Sugar

The deterioration accident of apple juice that occurred in West Germany in the 1980's was caused by Alicyclobacillus abbreviate, AAT for short. This fungus is a thermophilic fungus preferring acidic under aerobic conditions, classified as Thermo-Acidophilic Bacilli, also called TAB for short. Thermo-Acidophilic Bacilli is a generic name of bacteria that, as its name suggests, is heat resistant and grown favorably under an acidic environment.

Also in Japan at 1990, spore bacteria which increases in acidic beverages and produce off-flavors, were found in acidic beverage cans on the market. Since the latter half of the 1990's, TAB control became an important issue in quality control at beverage manufacturers, for adoption of small PET bottles with oxygen permeability for acid drinks.

Japanese sugar refinery companies, supplying sugar to beverage makers cannot be non-negligible to TAB. We were pointed out from our customers in the past that off-flavor in beverage products has been caused due to TAB derived from granulated sugars. As a result, sugar delivery was suspended and given a request for prevention of recurrence measures.

In this paper we will report the efforts we made to reduce TAB, as well as the TAB level required by Japanese major customers.

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Stefan Schöpf & Stefan Strasser* - Lenzing Technik GmbH, Austria

Molasses contains approx. 60% of sugar. In order to extract this sugar and to increase the overall yield of a sugar mill, the molasses is processed in a chromatographic process into three phases. Whereas the natural betaine fraction is sold to third parties and the raffinate is added to sweeten animal feed, the sucrose extract is recirculated to the crystallization to recover additional sugar.

This three-phase separation happens in a chromatographic process, which needs to be protected through proper filtration as the resin bed of the columns is rather sensitive and very costly to exchange.

Due to these facts precoat filtration using filter aid is the state of the art technology. As the sticky molasses is rather difficult to clean of the filter cloths usually a slurry discharge was used for cleaning, with the effect of efficient cleaning, but loss of product, respectively molasses.

In order to be able to process 100% of the molasses the Lenzing Technik GmbH has gone through an intensive trial phase together with the customer for more than a year to optimize the settings, parameters and consumables used at the Lenzing CakeFil equipment. These trials resulted in a dry solids discharge, molasses filtration process without product losses and additional recovery steps.

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Marc André Théoleyre, Anne Gonin, and Dominique Paillat, EURODIA Industrie

In 1998, the first unit designed to reduce effluents from decolorization resins system was presented: this was achieved thanks to a nanofiltration membranes unit. Different improvements have been proposed over time to decrease the consumption of salt and water, and to limit the environmental footprint of such a process. Twenty years later, thanks to a further combination of membrane technologies, we are able to provide a system to recycle close to the totality of the salt and water required during standard regeneration operations. With this process, only a minor part of the resins depollution stream would have to be discharged, once every 10 to 15 cycles.

The proposed process is based on the properties of various types of membranes: (1) nanofiltration is effective to achieve a good separation between salt and color bodies, but leads to a slightly diluted stream compared to the standard brine concentration needed for the regeneration; (2) Reverse osmosis is effective to recover water from a diluted brine but leads to an intermediate retentate concentration stream, too low for reuse; (3) Only electrodialysis allows the transfer of salt from a stream with an intermediate brine concentration (the reverse osmosis retentate), to a higher concentrated stream (the nanofiltration permeate), thus allowing to reach the required concentration for resins regeneration. The salt consumption is therefore limited to the portion exchanged with the resin. Water consumption is only limited to the final concentrated retentate, mixed with the molasses, plus the water needed for the membrane cleaning operations. Such a process is currently being installed in a new sugar refinery under construction in the Middle East.

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Emmanuel M. Sarir and Benhur Pabon, Carbo-Solutions International

Factory-scale trials were conducted at several mills with back end refineries to test the ability of high performance de-colorants to decrease the colour of clear juice and raw syrup, and ultimately the colour of VHP sugar. Up to 30% colour removal was observed under ideal conditions. Centrifugal wash time was also reduced by 25%. Such performance would be interesting for factories focused on reducing the color load to their back-end refineries or for factories wishing to avoid colour penalties for VHP sugar sold to a destination sugar refinery.

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Arvind Chudasama, International Sugar Journal

There's no such thing as a level playing field in the global sugar industry when it comes to trade. Sugar is the only commodity produced from both a temperate and tropical crop, namely sugar beet and sugar cane. Sugar is produced in some 119 countries. Like with soft commodities, sugar operates in a bear market punctuated occasionally by a bull market when the vagaries of weather significantly impact supply. Currently, some 80% of the global sugar production comes from cane and 20% from beet. In most of these countries, their sugar industry supports sizeable communities in rural areas with employment and offers a means of either reducing foreign exchange spend through imports or earn foreign exchange through exports. Competitiveness of the individual country industry is vital against the throes of price volatility for it to persist. The quality of policy making and support from the respective political masters is a key driver of individual country's sugar sector competitiveness. With reference to policy making in top producing countries (e.g. EU, Brazil, India, USA/Mexico, Australia), this paper discusses the impacts this has had in shaping their industries. The quality of policy making to date has varied from proactive to reactive as well as from being unabashedly political to apathetic.

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Chris Mayhew, Carlton Haynes, Robert Howe, Craig Parker, British Sugar

The fine control of the mother liquor saturation is key to efficient crystal production. Over many years the industry has developed several methods to approximate the mother liquor conditions across the total cycle of the batch pan. Both total massecuite brix and mother liquor brix have been used individually to control the degree of supersaturation indirectly, but neither method can accurately guarantee control of crystal growth in isolation. It is the interaction between both these brix measurements that can be used to portray the bigger picture of how the crystal is growing.

This study, over the 2017/18 beet campaign at our Wissington Factory, builds on the details previously reported (paper #1153 - Linear Pan Growth, 2017 SIT conference, Taiwan) on the investigation into how combining the output from a microwave brix meter and a refractometer can be used effectively to improve crystal growth within a batch pan.

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David Cooper, Mark Lomax, Craig Parker and Bjarne Nielson - British Sugar and Neltec Denmark A/S

Traditionally, British Sugar has run its low side centrifuges at fixed massecuite load levels, with ratio control of wash water addition to achieve the desired colour of sugar produced. However, visual interpretation by the operators of sugar colour varies widely, leading to different water addition ratios being employed. This leads to variability in the colour of the sugar produced from the centrifuges, with its impact on colour recycle, as well as excessive water dilution at other times.

This paper reports on British Sugar's experience during the 2017/18 campaign at its Bury factory, using Neltec's ColourQ 1700CC colour camera system. The ColourQ 1700CC system provided insight into sugar colour patterns across the centrifuge screen and how they changed due to a number of influences. The system was given full control of water addition and the trial data demonstrates its effectiveness in controlling the sugar colour to a much tighter standard deviation than the traditional approach employed by British Sugar.

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Connor Bourgeois & Greg Martin - ASR Group, Chalmette Refinery, Arabi, LA, USA

The refinery was evaluating control methods for the ash content of its white sugar. One method that has been evaluated is controlling the ash concentration for recovery sugars before they are mixed with post-affination liquor in carbonation. Due to the correlation between recovery sugar color and ash concentration, recovery sugar color control can effectively control ash concentration in recovery sugars.

The correlation of recovery sugar color to ash content was measured extensively. All samples were tested for color and ash. After analyzing the data, a correlation was found that closely mimics previously published research. This correlation is used to create a color maximum for recovery sugars to maintain ash specifications in white sugar.

In order to control the color of the recovery sugars, a Neltec ColourQ 1700 is being used for two of the continuous centrifugals in the Chalmette refinery. This instrument sends real time color feedback to the refinery's PLC which then controls the water addition to the continuous centrifugals. A color target is set that allows indirect control of the ash content in the recovery sugars by automatic water adjustments. This controls the concentration of ash that exits carbonation and pressure filtration which ultimately controls the ash concentration of white sugar.

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Lajos Rozsa - K-PATENTS Oy

Selection of the operating parameters (setpoints for the variables governing the process of crystallisation) is a complex task. In the past it was the pan men's responsibility to determine the value of and control (usually by manually operated valves) vacuum, feed syrup and steam flows based on a very minimum of instruments and experience gained over the years. One part of the technical literature of the industry has been quite cautious in providing well defined instructions and data regarding the operating conditions to be used during the industrial scale crystallization of sugar; in most cases the views of the "artist" pan-men are reflected in the publications. The other part of the literature (termed: academic) relies on high level models of the process of crystallization. These are based on material, energy and crystal population balance equations with inevitable simplifications and sometimes questionable results. Their use in actual practice on the pan floor is rather limited.

It is well known that the most important driving force of crystallization is supersaturation. Despite some false claims, there is no single instrument able to measure it directly, because it is a multivariable function of several parameters. With the introduction of the SeedMaster Instruments online calculation of supersaturation plus other important massecuite parameters became reality. Based on the effective use of these instruments a complex equation describing the rate of linear crystal growth was formulated and validated in several sugar mills in pans operating according to normal local practice (L. Rozsa et al.: Crystal growth and crystallization control tactics in industrial sugar crystallizers. Part 1. Crystal growth. ISJ, Oct. 2016). The equation reflects the effects of supersaturation, temperature, non-sugar concentration and crystal content on the rate of crystal growth. The equation provides an excellent tool for the simulation of complete strikes with different operating parameter selections.

In this paper simulated data are used to compare the effect of different operating parameter selections. It is shown that proper setpoint selection (and control) of the important variables, like supersaturation, temperature and level of the massecuite during a strike can result in considerable savings in the use of energy (due to absolutely no use of water, for example), reduction of the time of crystallization and the amount of recycled sugar, mean crystal size (MA) close to target and improved product yield and crystal size distribution (CV).

Proper selection of the setpoints for the important parameters naturally must be followed by a well selected control strategy to be effective. In this paper a control configuration consisting of 5 PID controllers is introduced. They are used to implement supersaturation-based control of steam flow and vacuum combined with massecuite level control based on its solids content. Some results obtained by their use in mills in different parts of the world are also presented.

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Jeffrey Leblanc, Dr. Chou Technologies, Inc. USA; Jeffrey J Lancon, Prodigy Engineering Group. LLC, U.S.A.; Chung Chi Chou, Dr. Chou Technologies, Inc. USA

There are many VHP refineries annexed to raw sugar mills/factories with 2/3/4 "molasses/syrup" recycled back to the mill for further processing to recover additional sugar during the crop seasons. However, during the "off crop" season, continued boiling to 5/6/7 molasses is very inefficient due to extreme high viscosity resulting in low sugar yield and high energy cost. This paper presents three commercial plant scale processes and one improved process (Molassugar process) which would quantum jump sugar yield from conventional VHP refinery sugar yield of 96.5/97.5% to a new high of 98.5/99.5% by converting/transforming all VHP refinery's #4 molasses/syrup into value added granulated brown sugar. This granulated brown sugar product will be about 5 to 6 % of total plant production.

The processes include:

a) Micro-crystallization process--a semi-continuous process with very high capital cost and low yield per operating cycle. The product purity is in the range of 94.5 to 96% and moisture content of less than 1%.

b) Muscavado process-a batch process, with very limited capacity per batch. The product purity is around 89 to 91% with moisture content of less than 2%.

c) Areado process-a batch plant scale process. The product purity is about 98.5 to 99% with moisture content ranging from 2.8 to 3.5% and NO "final molasses" produced in the refinery. For detail of Areado process please refer to 1st edition of "Handbook of sugar refining"

d) Molassugar process --an improved Areado process. Since Areado process's product purity and moisture content is too high for VHP refinery application, Dr. Chou Technologies, Inc. (Cti) has teamed up with Prodigy Engineering Group with many years of sugar equipment design experience to improve the Areado process to convert all # 4 molasses/syrup into value added granulated brown sugar with purity of 93 to 95% and moisture content of less than 1.5%. The improvement includes torque enhancement, capacity increase and ability to process lower purity process streams with lower % H2O products to extend shelf life. The detail of improvement design will be discussed.

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Karin Abrahamb, a, David Thiesinga and Eckhard Flöterb; a SternEnzym GmbH & Co. KG, b Technical University Berlin

This poster deals with a novel determination method for dextran whose presence can cause several adverse effects during the sugar manufacturing.

The extent of dextran-related effects on e.g. crystallization and filtration does not only depend on the concentration, but also on the molecular weight of this glucose-based polymer. Dextran can be enzymatically hydrolysed by the addition of dextranase which is an effective and essential method to minimize processing issues. An appropriate and cost-efficient dosage of enzyme requires the most precise knowledge of the existing dextran levels and fractions. The relatively low levels and the wide range of the molecular weight of dextran in raw juices however make an accurate determination and characterization and hence targeted mitigation difficult. Existing methods such as the Haze and Roberts' Copper method suffer from lack of precision, selectivity and are often time consuming and laborious. Consequently, new concepts and approaches for the determination of dextran are investigated to improve the situation. Therefore, a new method for the determination of dextran based on polarisation is introduced and compared to the most common Haze method and its modifications. The prototype of the new method appears to be superior with respect to trueness and precision, the inclusion of all dextran fractions, and the potential to deliver more detailed information of the specifics of the dextran contamination at hand. The improved understanding and analytical method should allow to better target future mitigation approaches of dextran contaminations occurring in sugar processing.

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E.M. Sarir1, C. Cedano2, M.S. Bermudez2 and D.J. Bueno2; 1 CarboUA Ltd. USA. 2 Central Romana Sugar, Dominican Republic Contact author: Email:

This poster will demonstrate the benefits of using CarboUA's patented high performance purification aids to achieve enhanced phosphatation clarification performance in sugar refineries. The additional purification imparted to the in-process liquors are reported and measured utilizing colour as the performance metric. Production efficiency gains are measured by improvements in low grade boilings (R4) as well as improvements in the ratio of fine liquors : syrups in vacuum pan boilings. The palpable benefits translating into immediate increases in profitability are evidenced by increased daily refined sugar output and improved refined sugar quality.

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Emmanuel M. Sarir and Benhur R. Pabon Carbo Solutions International, USA

Sugar refineries around the world are permanently looking for technologies in order to maximize recovery efficiency (refined sugar produced / dissolved raw sugar) and reduce operational cost, to achieve the above it is essential to minimize sugar losses and reduce amount of run off recycled to recovery stages (autonomous refineries) or raw house boiling (back end refineries). In a traditional refinery, the amount of recycled sucrose in high-colored run off is in the range of 3-5% of total dissolved sugar. This undesirable reprocessing brings with it, a higher operational cost, labor, chemicals, high consumption of steam and electric power, loss of capacity in boiling house, higher purity on final molasses and additional sucrose inversion. In the last years, many attempts have been made for an efficient run off handling:

CSI run off treatment process includes both decoloration and filtration steps, using high performance adsorbents (HPA) to remove color and impurities from the run off allowing its direct recycle to the refinery the crystallization stage without negative impact in refined sugar quality.

The proposed system is low cost and requires minimal investment in process equipment.

Experimental and industrial test results in refineries in Asia, Middle East and Bolivia show that it is possible to reduce run off color up to 60%, reduce the amount of returned run off by up to 50%, with a 1-2% increase in the overall refinery recovery with reduction in operational cost.

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