Energy efficiency is a key performance indicator for the efficient operation of a sugar refinery. Water intake via the fine liquor and the amount of wash water used in centrifugals are crucial indicators for steam demand. A range of concepts have for several decades been used in crystallization to automate the process, thus making it to a large extent reproducible. Depending on the crystal size aimed for, one- or two-stage seeding processes are often applied. The water intake by wash water applied in the centrifugals can be significantly reduced by applying syrup washing.
This paper describes the principles of the process steps mentioned and their importance for refinery and recovery in a sugar refinery. It also addresses the reasons why the use of these process steps is time and again called into question. On this basis, the paper presents opportunities that can result from a reassessment of precisely these process steps, taking into account state-of-the-art process monitoring methods.
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