Cane and beet sugar milling and refining

Brix measurements, supersaturation, sugar crystallization and seeding point control

Edible sugar manufacturing is a delicate process that requires process control and instant, accurate Brix (massecuite solids content) measurement of raw and in-process liquids for best product quantity and quality, measured with for example mean aperture (MA) and coefficient of variation (CV). Only high-quality liquid and crystal sugars are acceptable. In crystal sugar manufacturing, the absolute goal is to produce the maximum amount of even quality crystals, avoiding fines and conglomerates.

Efficient raw sugar processing to refined sugar

Sugar production involves two distinct operations: processing sugar cane or sugar beets into raw sugar and processing the raw sugar into refined sugar.  

As sugar refining is a highly energy-intensive process where raw juice is subjected to multiple processing steps to remove impurities, the right process control tools help to maximize yield and minimize the cost of production. Overall, the sugar industry is a large water consumer as each production step requires water. The water and energy consumption during manufacturing can be significantly reduced, contributing to mill's or refinery's sustainability, by using modern technology equipment, such as Vaisala K-PATENTS Process Refractometer. 

Cover process conditions from liquid phase to massecuite

Online data provided by the Vaisala K-PATENTS SeedMaster SM-3

Sugar crystallization is often the main production process, and mass-producing quality and constant sugar at a competitive price require robust measurement devices that are not affected by varying process conditions from the liquid phase to massecuite nor by increasing crystal content during a strike. 

Supersaturation is the driving force of crystal growth, and the speed of crystallization depends on this multivariable function of several parameters. Supersaturation has an optimal range, where sugar crystals grow evenly and widely. Outside the range, the crystals will stop growing and might even melt or start to form new crystals spontaneously creating fines and conglomerates requiring reprocessing. Vaisala K-PATENTS SeedMaster SM-3 is a unique device specifically created for sugar crystallization, providing the parameters necessary for sugar crystallization. 
 

Measure accurately Brix and concentration in-line

Refractometer installation at pan

Vaisala K‑PATENTS® refractometers and SeedMaster SM-3 provide:

  • Increased quality of liquid and crystal sugars 
  • Sugar products precisely according to recipe
  • Assurance that liquid bulk sugar and molasses meet specifications
  • Optimized extraction process by minimizing the usage of water which needs to be evaporated at a later stage
  • Energy savings by adapting product flow to the capacity of the evaporators 
  • Control over feed juice to adjust the concentration with the capacity of the separation columns extending the intervals between recovering cycles and prolonging the lifetime of the columns
  • Monitoring tool of supersaturation over the complete strike of crystallization
  • Implementation of automatic and accurate seeding of the vacuum pan. 

Applications in beet sugar milling and refining

Measure Brix accurately and in-line in all beet sugar miling and refining processes, including extraction, evaporation, crystallization and centrifugation (desugarization) and chromatographic separation for best yield and product quality with savings on energy and production costs. 

Download our application notes for more information.
 

Beet sugar processing

Vaisala K‑PATENTS® Process Refractometer is used throughout the processing for optimization and to ensure efficiently working subprocesses and sugar beet mill and refinery. 

Applications in cane sugar milling and refining

Measure Brix accurately and in-line in all cane sugar milling and refining processes, including affination, decolorization, evaporation, crystallization and recovery process for best yield and product quality with savings on energy and production costs. 

Download our application notes for more information.
 

Cane sugar processing

Vaisala K‑PATENTS® Process Refractometer is used throughout the processing for optimization and to ensure efficiently working subprocesses and cane sugar mill and refinery. 

 

Cane sugar affination

Measure real-time the concentration of the liquor to clarification, implement process monitoring and control during the affination process.

Cane sugar decolorization

Increase yield, control wash for the sweet water washing line, detect the interface between sweet water ad syrup, automate control of regeneration process 

Cane sugar crystallization

Yield good quality crystals without fines and conglomerates monitor supersaturation, 
implement automatic or manual seeding 

Cane sugar recovery

Final molasses, dilution concentration control, molasses separation control, wastewater line monitoring and seeding point control 

Applications in by-product processing

Measure Brix concentration of sugar or molasses, monitor crystallization process for quality yield. 

Download our application notes for more information.
 

Citric acid production

Maintain target concentration of sugar or molasses and citric acid, monitor crystallization process

Applications in side-stream treatments

Monitor Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and detect sugar shots or excessive amount of sugar in boiler feed water prior damages occur, monitor and control accurately, continuously and in-line the organic load (TOC) content in effluent or sweet-water streams. 

Download our application notes for more information.
 

White papers and Technical papers

Sugar crystallization: Look for the devil in the details, part 1

Sugar crystallization is a process of key importance. Currently, a large percentage of crystallized sugar is produced under manual control using instruments that arguably do not provide actionable information, and apparently resemble methods used several...

Sugar crystallization: Look for the devil in the details, part 2

In Part 1 of this paper some of the most important details of sugar crystallization, like product quality, cost of production, crystal growth, pan circulation, and seeding were discussed. The role and importance of supersaturation in all of these details...

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