India is a largest producer of sugarcane in entire world. Our major sugarcane producer states are Uttarpradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat. In India there are lots of sugar manufacturing unit has setup their plants to produce quality sugar. At present they are producing quality sugar by traditional method i.e. chemical process. Initially sugarcane juice extract by crushing sugarcane in crusher plant. The % of total solids is ranging from 5 to 6%. This sugarcane juice then processed through several steps and finally crystal sugar produced and as by product molasses generated.
During process of producing crystal sugar, initial stage sugar juice contain lot of dissolved and un dissolved impurities. Un dissolved impurities can be removed by passing sugarcane juice through filter press. But dissolved impurities mainly protein, fats, minerals and oil are very difficult to separate from sugar. Traditionally all dissolved impurities are removed by chemical process which is very lengthy and requires maintenance.
After crusher plant sugarcane juice to be collected in storage tank and then passed through filter press which will remove major suspended impurities. Thereafter juice will passed through micron bag filter followed by micron cartridge filter which will suspended and colloidal impurities down to 5micron level. Now sugarcane juice is free from suspended solids but having dissolved impurities. This sugarcane juice then passed through modified Ultra filtration membrane system. This Ultra filtration membrane will remove all high molecular weight impurities like Protein, Fat and Oil and allow sugar to pass through membrane. As all major high molecular weight impurities removed the color of sugar juice absolutely colorless which originally brownish color. This color was due to the high molecular weight impurities.
After ultra-filtration process sugar juice then passed through Nano filtration where sugar is concentrate from 6% to 24% i.e. four fold concentration is possible by Nano filtration by removing water along with all major salts. Resulting saving in energy in evaporators as well as quality of sugar is improved. Finally this concentrated sugar to be taken for further evaporation and then convert in crystal sugar.
Here the main advantage of membrane system is that there is no phase change i.e. liquid to liquid separation and concentration is possible. Resulting saving in energy, saving in chemical and process time is faster compare to conventional method.
Micron bag filter.
Micron cartridge filter.
Ultra filtration filter.
Micron cartridge filter.
Nano filtration system.