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Optimization of Molasses Desugarization Process Using Steffen Method in Sugar Beet Factories

Authors: Simin Asadollahi, Mohammad Hossein Haddad Khodaparast


Molasses is one of the most important by-products in sugar industry, which contains a large amount of sucrose. The routine way to separate the sucrose from molasses is using steffen method. Whereas this method is very usual in sugar factories, the aim of this research is optimization of this method. Mentioned optimization depends to three factors of reactor alkality, reactor temperature and diluted molasses brix. Accordingly, three different stages must be done:

  1. Construction of a pilot plant similar to actual steffen system in sugar factories
  2. Experimenting using the pilot plant
  3. Laboratory analysis

These experiences included 27 treatments in three replications. In each replication, brix, polarization and purity characters in Saccharate syrup and hot and cold waste were measured. The results showed that diluted molasses brix, reactor alkality and reactor temperature had many significant effects on Saccharate purity and efficiency of molasses desugarization. This research was performed in "randomize complete design" form & was analyzed with "duncan multiple range test". The significant difference in the level of α = 5% is observed between the treatments. The results indicated that the optimal conditions for molasses desugarization by steffen method are: diluted molasses brix= 10, reactor alkality= 10 and reactor temperature=8˚C. 

Keywords: Molasses desugarization, Saccharate purity, Steffen process

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