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Dr M S Sundaram
Managing Director
J P Mukherji & Associates Pvt Ltd
Qualities of sugars

Globally, following are the three main qualities of sugars

• Raw sugar
• Plantation white sugar
• Sulphitation Sugar
• Sulphurless Sugar
• Refined Sugar

Except few countries, majority of countries in the world produce &

consume either raw sugar or refined sugar
Quality of sugar in India
• India is the second largest producer of sugar and also the largest consumer of sugar in the

• But, in india, except few, many plants produce plantation white sugar by double

• Sulphur is being used in the process of manufacturing plantation white sugar from cane

• As a result, some sulphur traces are retained in the sugar crystals, which when consumed,
over a period of time could lead to health hazards.

• What health hazards with sulphured sugar will leave it to doctors, but now, it will be
discussed here how to produce sulphur less sugar
• Types of Sulphurless Sugars normally produced:
• Raw sugar
• Refined sugar (EEC Grade)
• PWS - Sulphurless Sugar
• Liquid Sugar
• Jaggery - Powdered

• Liquid Sugar and Jaggery powder are produces much less quantity.

• Main focus of this presentation is production of Raw, Refined and PWS-

Sulphurless sugars with their advantages..
Advantages of Raw sugar production
• Less Energy consumption
• Enhancement of capacity in the existing process house
• Cost of production is less compared to plantation white sugar production
• Manufacturing is easy compared to plantation white sugar
• Sulphurless sugar
• Good for health
• Relatively cheaper price compared to Plantation white sugar
• Sugar colour will be around 600 - 1200 IU
Advantages of Refined sugar production
• Higher energy consumption compared to raw sugar &
plantation white sugar
• Installed cost will be more compared to raw sugar
• Cost of production is higher
• Relatively costly compared to raw & plantation white sugar
• Refined sugar colour is less than 45 IU
• Sulphurless sugar colour is around 60 IU as it doesn’t involve
decolourisation. Less cost of production and less effluent
generation compare to refined sugar
Advantages of PWS-Sulphurless
Sulphurless sugar production

• Less Energy consumption than Refined sugar.

• Capacity of process house is increased little.
• Cost of production is less compared to Refined Sugar.
• Manufacturing is easy compared to Refined sugar.
• Good for health.
• Relatively cheaper price compared to Refined sugar.
• Sugar colour will be around 60 IU.
Advantages and disadvantages of
Raw, Refined and PWS-Sulphurless
PWS sugar
Raw Sugar Refined sugar PWS-Sulphur less sugar
Sulphur less sugar,
1 Sulphur less sugar, less than 45 IU Sulphur less sugar around 60 IU,
Colour: 400 – 800 IU
No usage of SO2 gas, hence equipment No usage of SO2 gas, hence equipment
No usage of SO2 gas, hence equipment life is
2 life is more as compare to plantation life is more as compare to plantation
more as compare to plantation white sugar
white sugar white sugar
3 Sulphur free atmosphere Sulphur free atmosphere Sulphur free atmosphere
Lower energy consumption compared
Higher energy consumption compared Comparatively lesser energy consumption than
4 to Refined, PWS-Sulphurless &
to raw sugar & plantation white sugar refined sugar
plantation white sugar
Lesser cost of production compare to refined
5 Cost of production is Lower Cost of production is higher
Installed cost is less compared to
Installed cost is more compare to raw Relatively lower cost of production compare to
6 Refined, PWS-Sulphurless & plantation
and plantation refined sugar
white sugar
Generate effluent with regeneration of
7 Less Effluent Less Effluent as Resins not required
Raw sugar Vs Refined sugar Vs PWS Sulphurless sugar

• As people’s health consciousness is increasing, sugar plants shall produce either raw
sugar or refined sugar or PWS-sulphurless sugar.
• Those who can afford little higher price can purchase refined sugar and for others
raw sugar will be available at lower price than the existing Plantation White Sugar.
• PWS-Sulphurless sugar is the next best option, due to it’s lower cost of production as
compared to refined sugar.
• In conclusion, all sugar plants in India shall move towards producing either raw sugar
/ PWS-Sulphurless sugar / refined sugar from the existing production of plantation
white sugar
Production of Raw sugar
• Production of raw sugar is well established process throughout the world.
• In India, major modifications in the existing sugar plants are not required to produce
raw sugar in place of plantation white sugar.
• Existing equipment in plantation white sugar plant can be used as it is to produce raw
sugar, except non-operation of sulphur burners & air blowers.
• The existing juice sulphiter can be modified as liming / defecation tank and remaining
equipment can be used as it is.
• With production of raw sugar, the process house capacity will be enhanced as scale
formation is less.
Production of Raw sugar
• As operating chemicals, like sulphur and evaporator cleaning chemical
consumption will be lesser, the operational cost of raw sugar will be less
• Only at sugar drying section, suitability of FBD shall be checked for
compatibility to raw sugar drying & cooling
• As steam consumption is relatively less in production of raw sugar, more
power export can be achieved in cogeneration plants. Relatively 1 - 2 %
reduction in steam consumption can be achieved in the existing sugar plants
• In conclusion, all sugar plants in India can produce raw sugar without any
major modifications in the systems and equipment
Production of Refined sugar
• General process description for production of refined sugar
• First raw sugar (A sugar) is produced in the existing sugar plants either by 3 or 3
½ massecuite boiling scheme without Sulphur.
• Raw sugar is to be dissolved or melted to produce raw melt.
• Raw melt is clarified either phosfloatation or carbonation process.
• Scum can be diverted to the existing raw juice tank.
• Clarified melt is to be de-colourised
colourised by either ion exchange or activated carbon
• Clarified and de-colourised melt is concentrated in evaporators.
• Concentrated melt is crystallised in vacuum pans to produce refined sugar.
• Two or three massecuite boiling is to be done to produce refined sugar of
required quality.
• Refined sugar is dried & cooled in rotary dryer and bagged.
Selection of process & technologies to produce refined sugar

As the cost of production of refined sugar is higher compared

to plantation white sugar, selection of suitable process &
technologies plays very important role to reduce the cost of
production and optimum steam consumption.
Quality of raw sugar to refinery

• Generally, ‘A’ sugar from raw pan station is being taken to refinery, which is about 98 – 99 %
pol and about 600 – 800 IU colour
• As a process improvement, B1 sugar or B sugar shall be double cured and double cured B1
or B sugar can be taken as input to refinery alongwith A sugar.
• Generally, B1 or B sugar is about 95 – 96 % purity and double cured B1 or B sugar can be
obtained about 98 % and this sugar can also be taken as input to refinery. Colour of B
double cured sugar will be about 800 – 1000 IU.
• With this modification, there is reduction in massecuite % cane at raw side, and reduction in
steam consumption
• In one sugar plant in Maharashtra, which is in high recovery zone, where pol % cane is about
15.5 %, massecuite % cane with conventional 3 ½ massecuite boiling scheme is about 57 %
at raw side.
• By diverting B1 double cured sugar to refinery, the expected massecuite % cane with the
same input parameters is estimated as 47 %,,i.e, about 10 % reduction in massecuite % cane
at raw side keeping the refinery massecuite % cane as same
Comparative study
S. No Description Unit Case – I Case - II
1 Crushing rate Tch 340 340
2 Pol % cane % 15.5 15.5
3 Fibre % cane % 12.5 12.5
4 Imbibition % fibre % 240 240
5 Boiling scheme 3 ½ massecuite 3 ½ massecuite
A, B1, B2 & C A, B1, B2 & C
6 Refinery scheme 3 massecuite 3 massecuite
R1, R2 & R3 R1, R2 & R3
7 Massecuite % cane A sugar to Refinery A & B double cured sugar to
A % cane 33.34 26.17
B1 % cane 11.32 9.52
B2 % cane 7.08 6.41
C % cane 5.17 5.09
Total 56.91 47.19
8 R1, R2, & R3 % cane 32.03 32.00

9 Total Massecuite % cane 88.94 79.17


Selection of clarification technology

Two technologies are available in the refinery for

clarification process

• Phosflotation
• Carbonation
Comparison of both options
S. No Carbonation process Phosflotation process
1 This process produces more calcium precipitates, thus by removing more Relatively less removal of soluble calcium salts
impurities of soluble calcium salts
2 Other impurities, such as starch, can be removed effectively by this Comparatively less efficient in removing starch
3 Can remove colour in the range of 25 – 30 % and can produce excellent This process removes colour more than carbonation process
clarity of clear melt because of addition of colour precipitant during clarification
4 Additional equipment of leaf filters, polish filters and press filters are After clarification, only deep bed filter will be provided. Relatively
required, hence, better clarity melt can be obtained lesser equipment
5 This process produces more solid waster than phosflotation process Very less waste

6 Higher capital investment Lesser capital investment

7 Low operating cost as lesser chemical consumption More operating cost as chemical addition is more
8 More maintainance cost and relatively higher power consumption Lesser maintenance cost and lower power consumption
9 Potentially more sugar losses by degradation because of higher pH and Lesser sugar losses
higher temperature & high retention
10 Conclusion: For refineries of smaller capacity, this process is suitable with
For refineries of higher capacity of more than 800 – 1000 TPD, lower capital investment, but higher operating cost.
carbonation process is suitable as lesser operating cost even though little
higher capital investment
Selection of Decolourisation technology
Three technologies are available for Decolourisation
• Ion exchange process (IE)
• Powdered Activated Carbon treatment process (PAC)
• Granular Activated Carbon treatment process (GAC)
• IE process is well established in India. This process can be adopted for smaller or higher
capacity refineries
• Installation cost is higher than PAC but substantially lower than GAC
• Operating cost is marginally higher, in comparison to installation cost, this can be
• Hence, IE process can be adopted to produce better quality refined sugar
Melt concentration & crystallization
• Double or triple effect evaporator can be considered for concentration of fine liquor upto
72 Brix

• Two or three massecuite boiling scheme can be adopted to produce finest quality refined
sugar upto 45 IU with melt decolourisation system

• Two or three massecuite boiling scheme can be adopted to produce Sulpuruless sugar of
around 60 IU without melt decolourisation system

• All sugar plants in India shall gradually move towards producing superior quality of Refined
sugar / sulphurless sugar by changing the existing process of producing plantation white
sugar by Sulphur

• Refined sugar / Sulphurless sugar will be more demand in future

• In the existing sugar plants, raw sugar can be produced without any major modifications

• ‘B’ double cured sugar along with 'A’ sugar can be taken as input material to refinery to
reduce cost of production of refined sugar.
sugar This modification will reduce steam
consumption at raw side and also additional pan capacity will be available at raw pan
• For smaller refineries (less than about 800 TPD) with only objective of producing
sulphurless sugar can install only phosfloatation process for melt clarification and
produce sulphurless sugar, as Phosfloatation process reduces colour also to
certain extent by adding colour precipitant in phosfloatation process.

• De-colourisation process is necessary to produce refined sugar of below 45 IU and

ion exchange process is better option in terms of installation and operating costs.

• Larger refineries, it is economical to install carbonation process for melt

clarification as the operational costs will be lower.

• With melt concentrator steam consumption can be further reduced in refinery.