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IMPROVEMENTS

IN CONTINUOUS CENTRIFUGATION

TO REDUCE

NON- SUGAR RECIRCULATION

Presented by E.D. Bosse


at the 27th General Meeting of
the American Society of
Sugar Beet Technologists
Anaheim, California
March 3 to 6, 1993

Author's address:
E.D. Bosse
c/o BMA AG
P.O. Box 3225
3300 Braunschweig
Germany

280

IMPROVEMENTS IN CONTINUOUS CENTRIFUGATION


TO REDUCE NON-SUGAR RECIRCULATION

1. INTRODUCTION
As all of you know. the quality of white sugar made by multi-stage evapo- and
cooli ng crystallization is subject. in the fi rst place. to the colour of the crystals, the
ash content. the colour in solution and the crystal size distribution.
Let me use the following three- boiling scheme (Fig. 1) as an example:

THICK JUICE

SYMBOLS

22.94
17.20
16.00

y
UQUOR
'3.S!!

9 .~

9.64

..

,.

72.00
88,57

.,TS

mTS
mZ

~
STANOAR D uaUOR
36.52
n .aa
26.88
85.02
25.64

...

WHI'TE SUQAR

WMm: SUaAR ItIASSEc:.


29.65
9UlO
26.88
95.02
25.64

,4,41

l1li.00
100.00

' .27
1427

T
HIWI RAW SUQAR
98.50
7.22
7.11
118.110
7.03

AFF. LDW RAW IlASSEc:.


4,11'

4,53
4.01

'-

....
~

81.Q~

51

AFF. LDW AAW &UGAA


2.72
98.00
2.67
118.00
2.6 ,

HIGH-RAW ItIASSEaIITE
15.00
II2.SO
13.117
89.15
12.37

LOW RAW .....ssecUm:


6.36
85.00
6.04
77.50
.68

MOlASSES

3.40
2.94
1.n

86.50
59.00

Fig. 1: Si mplified 3-boiling scheme

This shows that the lower-valued products from raw and low-raw processing are
separated from their mother syrup, are washed or affinated with a certain medi um,
281

and are fed in the form of a solution, i.e. liquor, to recrystallization or recycled as
seed magma for the higher-valued product.
Every sugar tech nologist, therefore, has to avO'id - to the extent possible - the
inevitable recydi'ng of non -sugars, i.e. non-sugar recirculation and, consequently,
impurities.
Therefore, centrifugation is of great significance to the non-sugar circulation in the
various stag es of crystallization , i.e. the effici ency of separation of the mother syrup
from the crystal has a decisive importance.
This separating efficiency in turn depends on several technological factors, such as
- mean crystal size,
- crystal size distrubtion,
- gravity factor,
- thickness of the crystal layer in the centrifugal,
- viscosity of the massecuite, and
- quality and purity of the washing medium used.
The separating efficiency can be understood as the percentage of mother solution
which leaves the respective centrifugal stage as syrup - defined as the rati o of the
dry substance masses concerned.

2. DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW MASSECUITE PREPARATI ON SYSTEM


FOR CONTINUOUS CENTRIFUGALS
TO REDUCE NON-SUGAR RECIRCULATION
It has been comm on practice to treat the massecuite, before feeding it into the
basket of a continuous centrifugal employed almost exclusively for low-raw
massecuite, but sometimes also for raw massecuite, in a massecuite preparation
system (Fig. 2).

282

Fig. 2: Standard massecuite distri butor

In this preparation system, the massecuite is treated with steam and water to reduce
its viscosity and improve its centrifuging properties, homogenized by the rotating pins
shown on the pictu re, accelerated by the accel erator bell to the final speed of the
machi ne and then fed into the centrifugal basket.
In recent years a number of investigations were made to improve the afore
mentioned separating efficiency and, consequ ently, reduce non-sugar recirculation,
and this led to a novel massecuite preparation system in conjunction with our new
double centrifugal (Fig. 3).

283

Fig . 3: Double centrifugal

The double centrifugal is a unit with two baskets arranged one on top of the other.
The sugar leaving the first basket is mixed with affination syrup and immed iately
conveyed to the second basket underneath for further processing.
The specific advantage inherent in combining two independent units is that the
stages can be adjusted in an optimum way by simply varying the speeds to the
technologically required G-factor, wh ich cannot be done when the two baskets are
driven by one common shaft.

284

To provide for optimum separation of the sugar crystals from the highly viscous
mother syrup, the pre- seperating stage can be operated at up to 2,000 rpm which
means a G-factor of over 2, 500 while the affination stage requires a far lower G
factor.
In developing our new double centrifugal, great importance was attached to
massecuite preparation (Fig. 4) as due to its high viscosity, low- raw massecuite is
very difficult to purge.

I
I

-t----,- ---
Fig. 4: New massecuite distri butor

In this respect, central massecuite feed turns out to be of particular advantage. Water
and steam are applied as early as possible - in the massecuite feed pipe. In the
product distributor, acceleration activates the heating and mixing process.

285

The newly developed massecuite preparation system is a three-step distributor bell


which has now been efficiently employed al ready in many centrifugals for 3
campaigns. It consists of a rigid outer section and a rotating inner section with two
shoulders, the so-called accelerator bell which, in addition , is heated with steam.
This additional application of steam in the area of the multi-step accelerator bell
provides for better massecuite mixing and heating, i. e. much more efficient heat
transfer between steam and massecuite, without even the slightest melting of sugar
crystals. The result is an excellent separation of the sugar crystals from the mother
syrup.
This brings about an evenly high massecuite temperature, i.e. it can be heated by up
to 15 C as compared with 6 to 8 C for the previous model. The three-step
accel'erator bell provides at its shoulders for a certain mixing effect, i.e. for a relative
movement of the crystals, considerably improving the massecuite distri bution at the
same time.
Now the new massecuite preparation system can be incorporated not only in the
double centrifugal, but also in most of our other conti nuous centrifugals.

3. OPERATING RESULTS

Fig. 5 gives the results of a comparison made between a contin uous K 1100 and a
K 1100 Turbo, which is an identical machine but for the new massecuite preparation
system.

286

purity
difference
molasses

purity
low raw
sugar %

98 1-----------;-----7----t 1.6

1.4
1.2
92

I --------------~~

1.0

90

I---------~"":;_

0.8

88

I-----------;--~---t

0.6

86

I--__~--------~--~~

0.4

84 I---------r--~---t 0.2
82
1

wash water %

Fig. 5: Comparison of new K 1100 Turbo vs standard K 11 00

At a basket operating speed of 2,200 rpm and the associated gravity factor of 2,900,
as related to the largest inside diameter of the basket, the th roughput of the K 1100
Turbo is some 15 - 20% higher than that of a conti nuous centrifugal of the standard
K 1100 type, and the technological data of the sugar and molasses leaving this
machine are identical or even better.
Th e ch art shows the curves of sugar purity and difference in purity between
molasses and cyclone molasses (Nutsch) versus the percen tage of wash water
applied at a constant through put.

287

Figs. 6, 7 and 8 show the results achieved by a doubl e ce ntrifugal processing low
raw massecuite: They also reveal how close ash, colour and purity, subject to the
quantity of wash wate r applied, can get to the crystal core figures.

ASH
LOW-RAW
UQUOR

0.4

II

0.5

COLO R
LOW RAW
300
LIQUOR

0.2

iI

I I

0.3

I~

II

t~IJI

0.1

100
CORE - COlOR:

I I
I I I I I I 8I

CORE-ASH:

o o 1I

1\\

200

ci. 05~

234

WASH WATER % O.m.


(BASKET 1+ 2)

567

~~
I I

eo IU5eo....

I I I

II

2345678
WASH WATeR % a.m.
___

___

(BASKET 1+2)

Fig.6: Ash of low-raw liquor

Fig. 7: Colour of low-raw liquor

t ~oo
PURITY
99
LOW-RAW
UaUOR
98

CORE-PURITY: 99,5%

V
,II'

k--~

,
~

97

96
95

WASH WATER % a.m.


(BASKET 1+2)

Fig . 8: Purity of low-raw liquor

288

___

4. NON-SUGAR RECIRCU LATION

Now, what do these improved results mean to sugar house work in general in
conjunction with the afore-mentioned boiling scheme?
The non-sugar balances (Fig. 9) show the great variation of non-sugar circulation at
different low- raw purities. The core purity of the raw sugar was assumed to be
constant at qHR

= 98.8.

The fo llowing versions relate to extreme low-raw puriti es of q LR

= 92.5

an average of qLR = 95.

Version 1
Thick
Juice

100"_

qLR=92.5%

Version 2
Thick
Juice

100%

qLR=95%

Fig. 9: Non- sugar balances

289

Version 3
Thick
Juice

100%

qLR = 98%

and 98 with

Version 1:

Assuming that the low-raw product with 92.5% purity is mixed with raw green syrup

and the affination syru p is recycled to the low-raw stage, there is a non- sugar

circulation of 4. 8% to the white and of 17.8% to the low- raw stage.

Version 2:

It is evident that better separation in the centrifugal and, consequently, a higher low

raw sugar purity (95%) reduce the non-sugar circ ulation to the white sugar station

and, in particul ar, to the low- raw station from 17.8% to 8.5%.

Version 3:

If it were possible, in an extreme, to produce low-raw sugar with a purity of qLR

98%, non-sugar circulation wo uld be the lowest, and in additi on to that no affinatioll

would be necessary.

5. SUMMARY
These examples very clearly illustrate the influence of the separating efficiency in a
low-raw centrifugal.
The higher the purity of the low-raw

sugar,

i.e. the better the separation of the

mother syrup by proper massecuite preparation in the centrifugal, the lower the
recirculation and thus the residence time of the non-sugar, which also has a
particularly positive influence on the colour of the products concerned.
Therefore, the first rule to be obeyed is to produce a very uniform low-raw sugar
crystal providing th e Ilargest possible mean crystal size so as to achieve th e set goal
of optimum separating work.

290

Symbols used:
m
mTS
mz
wTS
q

qHR
qLR

=
=
=
=
=
=
=

Mass flow
Mass dry substance
Mass sugar
Dry substance
Purity
Purity high- raw sugar
Purity low- raw sugar

References:
- BMA Information
- D. Bosse.
Paper read at Hannover Industrial Fair, 1992
- Klaus Buchholz. Dietrich Schliephake,
Zuckerindustrie 116 (1991 ), 414- 416

291

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