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V O L U M E 1 - P A P E R S FOR 1971
D E C E M B E R 1971
American Socieiy
Sugar Cane Technologists
Volume 1 - Papers for 1971
Florida and Louisiana Division*
December 1971
Armando Acosta
Atlantic Sugar Association
Belle Glade, Florida
A description of the continuous system installation made at Atlantic Sugar Association in 1967.
The existing blanchard crystallizers were connected with no strike receiver built under the
A pump was installed between the no. 2 and 3 crystallizers and automatic level control was provided
to keep the pump working continuously.
No operational difficulties have been associated with the system except the breakdown of a crysial-
lizer which would make the liquidation necessary in order to repair it, shutting down the continuous
Automatic control equipment is provided at the centrifugal station and results have been very
The 100% continuous operation only requires supervisory attention and no labor is involved in the
entire station.
The C crystallizer station of Atlantic Sugar Association was modified during 1967. The batch
system was changed for the continuous operation which has been introduced during the last decade in
many sugar mills throughout the world.
Since its beginning Atlantic has had six low grade "U" type crystallizers with Dyer Blanchard
cooling system and a capacity of 1,400 cu. ft. each, which discharge manually to a mixer of 350 cu. ft.
capacity with a Fischer & Porter automatic heating control.
The C strikes were dropped from the pans to a trough located on top and running all along the
A battery of four Allis Chalmers continuous centrifugals was operating at the C massecuite station.
The sugar magma was controlled manually and pumped to a seeder which overflowed in a melter and ran by
gravity into the juice line from the clarifiers to the evaporator supply tank.
Considering a grinding rate of 5,000 tons per day with a 30 hour retention time in our C massecuite,
it would be necessary to increase the existing number of crystallizers to eight and also to extend the
building for their location.
Because of the cost of an expansion in our C crystallizer station and knowing of the advantages
obtained by other plants with the change, we decided to go to the continuous operation since all the
batch system installations could stay as before and ready to be used if necessary.
The crystallizers (see Figure No. 1) were connected alternately by troughs 1.5 ft. wide by 2 ft.
deep, the height increasing up to 2.5 ft. in the last unit. Each trough is provided with a gate so
that in case of any problem you are able to separate the crystallizers.
A baffle plate was fitted at the center of the crystallizers reaching from the top of the shell
down to the stirrer shaft, in order to prevent the massecuite from travelling along the top of the unit
without coming in contact with all cooling elements. No strike receiver was built under the vacuum
pans, and the C massecuite is dropped into the first two units that were connected by a 20 in. diameter
pipe, taking no more than 3 to 4 minutes for discharging operation.
We added to the system an 11 in. pump with a speed of 48 R.P.M. for massecuite of 95 brix. It is
fed by a 12 in. pipe located at the bottom of no. 2 crystallizer, and discharged through a 10 in. line
into a box 1 ft. wide by 4.5 ft. long by 1 ft. high. This box (see Figure No. 2) is divided between
the no. 2 & 3 crystallizer by a gate controlled by a Honeywell valve which receives the level signal
from the no. 3 unit through a Taylor transmitter that acts over a pressure switch, opening a solenoid
valve and keeping the pump working continuously.
The discharge valve on the last unit (see Figure No. 3) is controlled automatically by a Copes
Vulcan actuator which receives the level signal from a Taylor transmitter located on the C sugar mixer
and is regulated by a Fischer & Porter control indicator.
This level control of the C sugar at the mixer is of great importance for the feeding and capac-
ity of the continuous centrifugal.
To complete a 100% continuous operation in our C crystallizer station we have four Allis Chalmers
continuous centrifugals, model 2750, and automatic control of the density in our C sugar magma.
The automatic control is made through a Taylor transducer that checks the ampere's variations of
the motor that moves the conveyor, changing the electrical signal into pneumatic and sending it to a
Honeywell valve through a recorder controller.
A 3/4 in. pipe is used for the addition of clarified juice or syrup to the C sugar and in front
of each centrifugal this line is reduced to 1/2 in. with a gate installed at the end.
The excess of C sugar at the magma seeder is controlled automatically with a level control system
similar to the one in the no. 2 and 3 crystallizers.
When the level of the seeder reaches a height equal to one charge of magma in the pan, the control
valve closes the seeder inlet and the excess of magma runs directly into a 6 in. pipe that is connected
to the juice line from the clarifiers to the evaporator supply tank.
The cooling system is used only at the last three crystallizers and we have from the C strike pan
to the no. 6 crystallizer a temperature differential of 145 - 135 to 100oF.
The brix average of the C massecuites during the last four crops has run from 96.00 to 97.00 with-
out having any difficulties with the massecuite flow.
With the continuous system, used in our last four crops, our average final molasses apparent purity
has been 34.71 while during the time we used the batch system the average apparent purity was 35.83.
Our grinding rate has been increased from an average of 171.00 tons to 185.00 tons per hour.
Lubrication with hot final molasses in our Dyer Blanchard crystallizers has not been necessary,
nevertheless we have used during the last couple of years a nonionic surfactant called Mazu 400 additive,
obtaining an excellent result especially in the fluidity of the C massecuites when maximum cooling has
been reached.
No operational difficulties have been associated with the system except the breakdown of a crys-
tallizer which would make the liquidation necessary in order to repair it, shutting down the continuous
1. Utilizes the cooling surface area to the maximum, giving more capacity in your crystallizer
2. Better control with low grade centrifugals.
3. Increase the capacity of the centrifugal station because the massecuites temperature is more
4. No labor is involved in the entire station.
5. The addition of chemicals to the massecuites is better regulated.
6. Time used for C strikes dropping is minimum, giving at the same time more flexibility.
7. Screens broken at the centrifugals are reduced to a minimum.
8. The heating and cooling of massecuites are better controlled.
9. Strikes can be dropped with a higher brix.
10. The attention required of the entire system is completely supervisory.
Figure No. 1 A & B
Crystallizers = 1,400 cu. ft.
Mixer = 350 cu. ft.
Drawn by: E. Portuondo
Figure No. 2 Figure No. 3
Differential Pressure Transmitter
Control Indicator
C - Sugar Mixer Air Supply
Cryst. No. 6
(Last Unit)
Cr y s t . No. 3 Cr y s t . No. 2
( Re c e i ve r )
Air Supply
Power Supply
Air Supply
Distribution Box
C-Massecuite Pump
Drawn by: E. Portuondo
Dif. Press. Transmitter
Pressure Switch
Solenoid Valve
James C. P. Chen, Calvin 0. Walters, Jr. & Felix J. Blanchard
Southdown Sugar Factories & Refinery
According to ISSCT definition, Pol is used in calculation as if it were a real substance. For
simplicity and convenience, Pol, instead of true sucrose, is being used in chemical and factory controls.
But Pol is Pol, and should not be taken as true sucrose. The polarization of an impure sugar solution
(e.g. cane juice) could be affected by other optically and non-optically active substances. So there is
no conversion factor between Pol and sucrose. Due to decomposition of levulose or enzymatic effect of
dextrose, the D/L ratio varies from place to place, and from time to time. It could also vary during
manufacturing process or during the storage of sugar products. The evaluation of sugar yield depends
on the actual sugar content in cane. Since Pol does not always represent the actual sugar content, the
evaluation by Pol could sometime be very misguiding. If cane is paid by sugar content, and the sugar
content is based on Pol which may have wide discrepancy to actual sucrose, then either the cane producers
or cane processors might suffer unjustifiable losses, especially under abnormal conditions.
According to the official definition of the ISSCT, Pol is used in calculation as if it were a real
substance. It is therefore understood that although Pol is being used in operation and chemical controls,
Pol is Pol, and is strictly NOT sucrose.
In chemical control of a sugar factory, for simplicity and convenience, the material balance and
recovery efficiency are based on Pol figures. Also in operation control, the purity figures are all ap-
parent purities, using Pol instead of real sucrose. But Pol remains Pol, and should/could not be taken
as actual sucrose. This could be easily explained by the difference of Pol and Sucrose in a blackstrap
The practice of using "sucrose" to mean Pol, such as "sucrose extraction", "sucrose loss" and
"purchase of cane on sucrose basis", where Pol is meant, is so ingrained
that only "actual sucrose"
or "Clerget sucrose" could actually mean real sucrose.
An impure sugar solution generally contains sucrose (dextrorotary, + ) , dextrose (dextrorotary,+) and
levulose (levurotary, - ) . So the polarization of this solution is in fact the resultant of the polariza-
tion of all the three sugars. Besides from dextrose and levulose, there are also other optically active
non-sugars, such as dextran and gums that will influence the polarization
. Moreover, some mineral
salts also affect the rotation of sucrose
. Honig
had also proved that those non-sugars influencing
the rotation of sucrose are (a) those having their own rotation, e.g. dextrose, levulose, some amino
acids, etc., (b) those inactive substances, e.g. salts of sodium, potassium and alkaline earths. There-
fore the
S of impure sugar solution is not always identical with the exact content of sucrose.
As we know that the relative proportions of other optically active non-sugars, mainly dextrose
and levulose, vary from place to place, resulting in the variation of the ratio of Pol to Sucrose.
Generally, sucrose figure is higher than Pol. But it is not uncommon that it could also be lower. These
were known and reported by Zerban and his colleagues in 1942.
If there is a definite ratio between Pol and Sucrose, even though Pol Sucrose, we could convert
one into another by using a conversion factor. But there is none.
Dextrose and levulose are two main optically active non-sugars in sugarcane juice. Normally these
two monosaccharides are in 1 : 1 ratio. When sugar is hydrolyzed, the products of inversion are also in
1 : 1 molecular ratio. But this ratio may not stay constant. It may vary from place to place and from
time to time, and even during the manufacturing process of sugar. Data of some raw sugars from different
producing countries show wide ranges of variation. (Table 1.)
Gardiner and Muller
had found some raw sugars, stored under unsuitable conditions, changed D/L
ratio from 1.0 to 8.0, with levulose degradation products and large amounts of ketose and allulose.
The changing of D/L ratio could be due to increase of dextrose of decomposition of levulose. It is
also found that some enzyme could convert dextrose into levulose. In that case, the D/L ratio decreases.
cane, in the manufacturing process; or during storage of sugar products.
4. D/L is only one of the factors that may influence the Pol. Other non-sugars also affect Pol
reading considerably.
5. The yield of sugar depends on actual sugar content in cane. If Pol does not rightly/reasonably
show the actual sugar content, the evaluation based on Pol could be very misguiding.
The authors wish to acknowledge gratefully the assistance of the Technical
service Laboratory of the Refined Syrups & Sugars, Inc. for their analyses
by Gas-Liquid Chromatography.
1. Spencer-Meade. 1964. Cane Sugar Handbook, 9th Ed., John Wiley & Sons. 625.
2. Brukner & Cordes. 1959. Int. S. Journal. Nov. 344.
3. Zerban, F. W. 1942. System of Cane Sugar Factory Control of the ISSCT.
A. Honig, P. 1953. Principle of Sugar Technology. Vol. I. 69.
5. Tantaoui, M. 1952. Dextran, its effect on Polarization and True Sucrose Determination in Sugar
Juice. The Sugar J., Nov. 36-38.
6. Stachenko, S. & H. Ebell. 1969. Selective Absorption of Carbohydrates on Carbon Columns, Canada
& Dominion Sugar Co., Canada.
7. Gardiner & Muller. 1958. Int. Sugar J. Vol. 60. Sept. 256-258.
8. Fort & Smith. 1952. Analytical Studies of Sugarcane Juice Processed on a Pilot Plant. The
Sugar J. Dec.
Table 4.. Sucrose, Dextrose and Levulose of Cane Juice.
(before the frost of Nov. 23, 1970)
Table 6. Difference in Pol/Sucrose to Standard Ton and Yield.
Table 5. Sucrose, Dextrose and Levulose of Cane Juice.
(after the frost of Nov. 23, 1970)
Adalberto Alfonso, Jr.
Belle Glade, Florida
The cane sampling method previously used ac Atlantic Sugar Association was as follows: A
laboratory was located at the scale house. The scale operator checked the cane brought to the sugar
mill from each grower and a sample was taken every 65 tons. The samples were taken from the trucks
by a small hydraulic crane. The samples were crushed in a small mill installed inside the lab and
Several deficiencies in this system were:
(1) The cane crushed in the sample mill was not as representative of that crushed in the
large sugar mill.
(2) The cost of maintenance of the small crane was excessive.
(3) When the crane broke down, sampling was impossible.
(4) The location of the lab was far from the sugar mill main building.
(5) The administration had been considering hauling cane in the following crop (prior to 1968)
during 12 hours only. This would have called for the same amount of analysis in 12 hours formerly
done in 24 hours, which was almost impossible without increasing personnel.
(6) The bagasse from the cane crushed at the laboratory mill would have been excessive.
These factors contributed to management's decision to change the system in 1968.
The first project was to transfer the juice laboratory to the main lab at the sugar mill. Juice
samples from the crusher were then sent to the lab automatically. This system functioned as follows:
The weigher gives the truck driver a ticket for the cane to be analyzed. The driver delivers the
The cane-dump operator follows the load to the second conductor where the ticket is attached to a
cane conductor.
At the end of the cane conductor there is a magnetic detector, and when the metal piece with the
that the cane has reached the crusher. A trough under the crusher conducts the extracted juice
to the raw juice liming tanks, but the line passes through the laboratory where a sample air-valve
spigot is activated by a solenoid valve. When this valve is closed the juice continues to the liming
The magnetic detector closing the circuit on the arrival of the cane at the crusher activates a
timer whose function is to allow sufficient time to elapse so that the Juice to be analyzed displaces
all the former juice in the line. Once the time has elapsed, another switch operates the solenoid
valve controlling the extraction of the juice sample in the laboratory. This signal also activates
another timer which controls the time the laboratory valve remains open, thus controlling the amount
prints the sample number corresponding to the cane-ticket number left at the cane conveyor. Juice and
number arrive simultaneously; the owner is not identified until days end.
One problem in this system was with the ticket transport. At times the wind blew the ticket
off, and at other times the cable slipped on the pulley so that the ticket did not arrive at destina-
tion or arrived late, after the cane had been already ground. To eliminate the problem, we made the
following changes, which gave satisfactory results:
A switch was connected bv a lever, and the lever in turn is actuated by another lever on the
axis of the cane conveyor, so that on each revolution of the axis a signal is sent to a pulse counter,
which is adjusted for a certain number of impulses or its equivalent of revolution necessary so that
the load of cane which had been dumped on the conveyor arrived at the crusher, thus completing the
cycle. That is to say that, once the required number of revolutions was reached the "pulse counter"
activated a switch which in turn gave oil the signal which previously had been given off bv the
magnetic detector.
To complete the system a push-button was installed in the operating tower of the cane-dump,
so that the operator, upon seeing that a load of cane had been dumped on to the conveyor, pushed
the button activating the "pulse counter", thus initiating the cycle described above. As many
"pulse counters" may be installed as the load capacity of the convevor. (three or four truckloads)
B. L. Legendre
American Sugar Cane League
U.S. Sugarcane Field Station
Houma, Louisiana
Trash can be defined as worthless things, refuse, or rubbish. The guidelines or regulations for
determining trash in sugarcane delivered to the mill are found in the pamphlet 8-SU, Sampling, Testing,
and Reporting, (1) compiled by the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, an agency of
the U. S. Department of Agriculture, separate from the Agricultural Research Service which carries out
the program of the U. S. Sugarcane Field Station at houma, Louisiana.
The regulations separate trash into five categories: 1) leaves and suckers; 2) loose tops which
were cut in the field by the harvester but carried to the mill; 3) intact tops remaining on sugarcane
stalks (or stalks topped above the last formed joint) or all growth above the third last formed joint
from the bud; 4) roots and all growth below the ground level; and 5) extraneous material contained with-
in the sugarcane load. All five categories would fit the definition of trash as being worthless in the
production of sugar with the possible exception of that cane below ground level. Experimental work
needs to be done in Louisiana to determine if below ground level cane contains sufficient sucrose to be
economically important. Studies should be made of the amount and quality of juice extractable from
such cane pieces. A study of the milling quality of stubble pieces of syrup varieties was made in
Mississippi during the early 1950's (5), but the study was limited to the analyses of Brix and sucrose.
There is difficulty in determining how much of a cane stalk is top, and therefore, trash. Growers
and processors agree that there is a portion of the stalk near the terminal bud which contains little
sucrose. This area varies considerably between varieties, seasons, and crops (i.e. stubble vs. plant
cane crops). The Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, in order to eliminate what they
consider uncertainty and provide a uniform system by which all mills could adhere, arbitrarily set the
present standards. The present standards may favor the harvesting of cane low in quality if so little
of the top is removed as trash. A group of agricultural scientists was appointed by the Grower-
Processor Committee to determine the proper level of topping; their recommendations being rejected. In
many instances mill personnel, in their samples from grower's deliveries, continue to adhere to the old
policy of topping sugarcane stalks at the last hard joint because compliance with the new regulations
requires more time and is too technical in nature.
The recommended methods for obtaining cane to be used in trash analysis of a grower's sample do
not guarantee representative sampling. The regulations specify that samples weigh at least 50 pounds;
that they shall be taken from loose sugarcane manually or mechanically; and that bulk deliveries are
to be sampled after dumping. No further provisions are made to avoid sampling error.
Bias can easily be introduced into samples pulled for trash determination. Dr. Keller of
Louisiana State University showed differences between trash percentages of sugarcane taken from small
samples and from entire loads (4). In every case the trash percent of small samples was less than that
found from the entire load of several tons. Normally, the larger the sample, the more representative
the sample; however, the size is limited by the time required to clean or detrash the samples. Handling
cane several times before samples are pulled will undoubtedly result in lower trash percentages for the
producer no matter whether the cane was mechanically or manually pulled for the sample. Leaves, shucks,
mud, etc. are sifted through the load causing a lower analysis for trash. Cane pulled manually, either
singly or in groups of two or three stalks from the end of a bundle where cane is handled in slings,
will result in detrashing leaves from cane before a gross weight can be determined.
Samples for trash should be made with as little movement of cane as possible to prevent sifting of
trash and mud through the sugarcane, All sampling should be as uniform as possible. Preferably, all
samples should be taken with the mechanical grab. The grab should be so constructed to allow the entire
sample to be taken with one action. Crabs which are too small or too weak to completely close result
in poor sampling.
The recommended sampling rates also permit non-representative sampling. If a producer's normal
deliveries are less than five tons daily, one weekly sample Is required. If the daily deliveries are
from 5 to 100 tons, then one daily sample is required. If the daily deliveries are more than 100 tons
then more than one daily sample may be taken. While the grower and processor must agree to multiple
daily sampling, no guidelines have been given for reaching this agreement. In practice the number of
daily samples taken is at the discretion of the processor.
It is obvious that the processor is unable to sample every conveyance for trash due to the time
required for properly analyzing each sample and the increased rate of grinding at most factories.
However, a trash sample could be taken whenever a sample is taken for sucrose. The regulations state
that all cane is to be sampled for sucrose at least every 65 tons, but does not require such frequency
It is obvious chat the processor is unable to sample every conveyance for trash due to the time
required for properly analyzing each sample and the increased rate of grinding at most factories.
for trash determinations. If simultaneous samples were taken, then these two quality indicators,
sucrose and trash, would have the same sample selection basis.
The grower is paid for these two items; for trash free or net cane, and for the sucrose in that
cane. The gross weight of the cane sampled for trash determination is obtained, then all trash is
removed by hand. The sample is re-weighed and the trash percent determined by dividing the trash
weight of the sample by the gross weight. The percent trash is applied to the shipper's deliveries
for that period covered by the trash determinations and the product is deducted from the shipper's
gross cane delivered; the resultant, the net cane delivery. Thus, if a grower ships one hundred tons
and has 10% trash, he is paid for 90 tons. The trash also affects the second standard of payment,
sucrose content, because trash in the cane sample for sucrose is not removed. Some have said that the
grower is being penalized twice for trashy cane. This claim is made by those who think that the only
effect of trash is to reduce the amount of real cane delivered. Sugar recovery is adversely affected
in two ways because of trash: reduction of amount of net cane ground and its retention of sugar. The
presence of trash not only adds nothing to the pounds of sucrose in a ton of cane, but the bagasse
formed by the trash absorbs juice containing sucrose, reducing the sucrose recovered (2). Trash also
reduces the grinding rate, and organic acids in the tops and leaves reduce boiling house efficiency
(3). Field mud, frequent in bulk cane, but rare in trash samples, causes similar losses. Since the
presence of trash lowers the amount of net cane and the amount of sucrose obtained, the dual sampling
method is ethical and necessary to insure the delivery of fresh, clean cane to the mill.
It might be well to note that the producer has the right to inspect all trash and sucrose
sampling at the mill. A grower should realize the seriousness of delivering poor quality cane to the
mill and a knowledge of the sampling techniques might be a wise investment to the farmer.
Discrepancies in trash percentages occur for the same cane being delivered to different mills.
The trash determinations were different because the methods and frequency of sampling were different.
These differences were found when one mill used the mechanical grab and another pulled samples by hand.
Since different personnel and equipment are employed in sampling at the various mills, minor discre-
pancies will occur when the same methods and frequencies of sampling are used. Differences even occur
in trash percentages for cane from the same grower at the same mill. Frequent sampling will reduce
these errors.
There is a need for extensive revision of the definition of sugarcane trash and the methods of
determining it. A cane top should be redefined so all of the stalk not suited of sugar production
would be classified as trash. The quality and amount of juice of stubble pieces needs to be determined
so that this material can be properly classified as trash or millable cane. Sampling frequency could
be increased so that trash determinations are on a par with sucrose sampling. Mechanical removal of
trash samples would reduce time and error and increase the uniformity between mills. Any regulations
must insure standard sampling at all mills.
1. Anonymous. Sampling, Testing and Reporting for Louisiana Sugar Processors. U.S.D.A.-A.S.C.S.
Manual. 8-SU Rev. 1. 1968. 30 pp.
2. Arceneaux, G. Some effects of trash in cane on milling results. The Sugar Bull. 22:151-158.
3. Balch, R. T. and C. B. Broeg. The sugar cane trash problem from a chemical standpoint. Proc.
ASSCT. 1948.
4. Keller, A. G. The determination of trash in sugarcane. Louisiana State University Engineering
Experiment Station. Circ. No. 1. 1948.
5. Stokes, I. E. and T. E. Ashley. Agronomic practices influence stubble deterioration of sugarcane.
Proc. ISSCT. 9:1:255-271. 1956.
Juan M. Campaneria
Factory Manager and Chief Engineer
The South Coast Corporation
We do not have to emphasize how important it is to have uniform and constant feeding in a mill to
have a good extraction.
This is very difficult to have when you are depending on a human operator, who in many cases does
not know how important is his job. Frequently he feeds very lightly to avoid choking the crusher and
in other cases feeds too heavy and then chokes the crusher.
Only by having an automatic feeding system can you control the thickness of the bagasse blanket.
There are many automatic systems in the cane sugar industry. All of them can give good results,
but their prices range from not too high to very high, depending upon how complicated they are.
The system we are going to describe, as shown on attached sketch, is one of the most simple and
less expensive as far as we know and, what is more important, it works, and works without giving any
In the summer of 1969 we installed in Oaklawn Sugar Factory a centrifugal limit switch (7) to
control the overload in the one set of knives we have. This limit switch, (Euclid, double pole, nor-
mally open) energizes two Atkomatic solenoid valves, (4) (normally open, energized to close) that shut
off the live steam to both cane carrier engines when the set of knives loses speed, and de-energizes
both valves when the knives regain the normal speed.
This installation was only to prevent the chokes on the knives and since it was installed, we
never have had chokes in the knives.
From this installation to the automatic feeding system was only one step.
Last summer, using surplus equipment, like a 1" second hand diaphragm valve and a type 779K Fisher
Pilot kept in stock in the factory, we completed the second step in the automatic system.
Installing a 1-1/4" shaft across the crusher chute and two pipes fixed to the shaft by set screws,
we made the "sensors" (1) to "feel" the height of the cane mat in the chute. These sensors can be ad-
justed to change the quantity of the cane fed.
A cam fixed at the end of the shaft transmits the signal to the Fisher pilot, (2) which controls
the speed of the cane carrier No. 2 by closing or opening the diaphragm valve, (3) installed in the
inlet line of the steam engine.
For an emergency stop, we installed a double pole, on and off, hand switch in the mill control
panel, connected in parallel with the limit switch in the cane knives, which shuts down both solenoid
valves, stopping both carriers.
This summer we are planning to install another set of knives in the cane carrier No. 1. Then we
can complete the third step of the system.
This third step is shown in the sketch by dotted lines. In the live steam line of the cane carrier
No. 1 engine we are going to install a diaphragm valve (6) controlled by the same Fisher Pilot, (2)
which will control the speed of the cane carrier No. 1.
In the new set of knives we are going to install a centrifugal limit switch, which will energize
only the solenoid valve installed in the live steam line of the cane carrier No. 1 engine when the
speed of this set of knives falls below normal, and opening when it regains its normal speed.
This year we wore able to reduce our crew in the mill room by two men. Next year it may be pos-
sible to remove two men from the cane carrier. This is another important point to be considered.
1 - Sensors
2 - Fisher type 779K Pilot
3 - Diaphragm Valve
4 - Solenoid Valve
5 - Cane Carrier #2 E ngine
6 - Future Diaphragm V alve
7 - Euclid C entrifugal L imit S witch
3 - F uture Euclid C entrifugal limit switch
in future set of knives
9 - C ane C arrier #1 E ngine
1 0 - E mergency D ouble P ole H and S witch
J.M .C . - O aklawn 1 /1 5/7 1
Report of the 19 70 Crop Operation
W. Bradley Kimbrough
St. Mary Sugar Cooperative, Inc.
The easement of cane acreage restrictions during 1969 and 1970 enabled the members of St. Mary
Co-op to produce more cane. In order to process the increased amount of member cane, St. Mary had
alternatives of increasing daily grinding rate or Increasing the length of the grinding season beyond
70 days. A grinding season of more than 70 days was deemed risky for present Louisiana conditions and
increasing grinding rate without heavy capital investment seemed unlikely. The existing mill consist-
ing of a 36" x 48" two roll crusher and six 28" x 48" mills was being operated at rates averaging over
3000 tons of cane per day which was well above the manufacturer's rated capacity of 1750 tons of cane
per day.
A possible solution was discovered when tests conducted during the 1969 crop revealed thtt, on
occasions, as much as 17 per cent of the total cana ground per day was being recycled through the mill
by returning cush-cush to the second set of knives. It was proposed that removal of the cush-cush
from the mill would result in a significant increase in mill grinding capacity. Through correspondence
with the French Oil Mill Machinery Company, it was learned that a French press could be used to pro-
cess cush-cush.
Development of using a French press for cush-cush began at the Lula factory in Louisiana around
1956. This was followed by further work at Okeelanta and Talisman in Florida. Pressing cush-cush was
very successful at Talisman during the 1968-69 and 1969-70 crops, however, it was necessary to return
pressed fiber to a later stage of the mill or to their final press due to a high residual sucrose and
St. Mary and French Oil started a two crop program beginning with the 1970 crop to further develop
the use of a French press for processing cush-cush. The goals set forth at the outset of the program
were to press all cush-cush from the mill and send the fiber directly to the furnaces with a moisture
and pol. content comparable to that of the mill bagasse and most importantly to increase the grinding
rate by an amount equivalent to the cush-cush removed from the mill.
The cush-cush processing system is a two stage system consisting of a light duty press followed
by a final press. This equipment was installed parallel to the mill at the same elevation as the mill
walkway where the mill foreman station is located. After start up of the press drives the system was
operated by the mill foreman. His primary duties were to take the system on and off the line and shut
down the system during mill stops or in the case of equipment malfunction. Taking the system on and
off the line is a simple matter and causes no lost time to the mill. A slide door operated by an air
cylinder was installed in the bottom of the existing cush-cush drag and the control valve for the
cylinder was located near the mill foreman's station. With the slide door closed cush-cush was return-
ed to the second knives to be recycled througn the mill. Opening the door allowed cush-cush to enter
the press system.
The cush-cush flow and the counter-current maceration scheme are illustrated in Fig. 1. Cush-
cush was handled with the conventional drag conveyor where juice was screened through the bottom. In
the drag conveyor, the last juice to flood the cush-cush was the richest juice, that from the crusher,
first and second mill. In order to displace the rich juice and enter the press system with lower
sucrose, first press juice and second press juice were returned to the cush-cush drag for maceration.
After the two stage juice maceration, cush-cush was conveyed to the first press. The first press
was used to remove excess juice and lower moisture to the 65-70 per cent range so that maceration
watur could be more effective. Maceration water was applied in the intermediate conveyor in approxi-
mately the same proportion as that used on the mill. It is important to note that uaing maceration
water in the same proportion as that used on the mill does not increase the overall maceration water
per cent cane. This follows, because had cush-cush gone through the mill it would have received it's
fair per cent of water. If cush-cush is processed in the press system it still receives this same
per cent and if an amount of cane equivalent to the cush cush is added to the mill then no adjustment
is necessary for the mill water. However, if additional cane is not added to the mill then mill
maceration water should be reduced by the amount uaed in the cush-cush system.
The first press discharged cush-cush into the intermediate conveyor where maceration water was
applied as described above and the cush-cush was conveyed to the second press. The cush-cush bagasse
from the second press was discharged to a conveyor that added the bagasse to the mill bagasse going
to the furnaces.
The light press is a model M-55 with overall dimensions of 2'-8" high, 2'-8" wide and 10' long.
It is driven by a compact hydraulic motor which is powered by a 125 Hp electric motor driving a
hydraulic pump. The unit is equipped with a load control to automatically adjust RPM for variations
in feed rate. The final press is a model L-77 with overall dimensions of 4'-9" high, 3'-2" wide, and
11' long. On the discharge end a hydraulic load cone and bracket extend 8' and on the feed end there
is a large gearbox that is 3' by 5' and 6' high. This press is also equipped with a load control
system to handle variations in feed rate. The drive is a 500 Hp steam turbine. The operating princi-
pal of both presses is the same. The material is fed to an enclosed screw that moves the material
through successively smaller volume sections causing a compression of the material as it advances.
Liquid drainage is through the cage that encloses the screw.
The primary purpose of the press installation was to increase mill grinding capacit>. To insure
that the 1970 grinding capacity without the press was representative, the grinding capacity of three
previous crops was also determined. The criterion for this determination follows: 1) The maximum
five day consecutive run for each crop was determined. A five day run was chosen so that reduced rates
for evaporator cleaning would not be included. 2) The grinding rate for each five consecutive day run
is an average of the tons of cane ground per grinding hour rather than tons of cane ground per crop
day. This excludes mill lost time. These capacity determinations along with mill performance data
are presented in Table 1. The 1970 average of 140 tons of cane per hour for five consecutive days is
in line with the averages of the three previous years and should serve well as a measure of the mill
grinding capacity without the press installation.
The maximum five consecutive day run with the press system in operation is compared to the maxi-
mum run without the press system in Table 2. During the run with the press system, the grinding rate
increased from 140 tons of cane per hour to 158 tons of cane per hour or 12.85 per cent. During this
run, lost time on the press system was 6 per cent, therefore, there would have been a greater increase
had there been no lost time. On tons of cane per day this is an increase from 3360 tons to 3792 tons
or 432 tons. It is interesting to note the differences in the mill performance during the two runs.
However, more of the comparative runs are needed to draw firm conclusions. Some of the difference in
in pol. extraction might be accounted for by the increase in pol. % cane during the run with the press
system and the reduction in cane '% fiber. It should be noted that since cane % fiber is a calculated
figure, there is some question as to its validity.
While the run with the press system proved the principal of increasing grinding capacity by re-
moval of cush-cush, press performance left room for Improvement. The data for the press system opera-
tion during the run is presented in Table 3. Some of the high pol. in press bagasse can be attributed
to the ineffectiveness of the juice maceration prior to the cush-cush entering the first press. Im-
provements for the 1971 crop which are still in the planning stages will add an additional maceration
stage and possibly two. Also it is planned to bring moisture In first press bagasse down to the 60-
65 per cent range. One maceration stage could be added by re-routing the crusher, first, and second
mill juice canal up stream from the third mill canal. Another might be added by using all excess
mill maceration juice that would ordinarily overflow to the dilute iiice for cush-cush maceration.
These improvements along with more effective application of the press juice maceration should reduce
the amount of pol. entering the press system.
During the last three days of the maximum run with the press system, practically all pressure
applied to the cone on the discharge end of the final press had to be relieved due to excessive load-
ing of the press. Moisture and pol. content in bagasse went up immediately. Operating in this man-
ner contributed to the high pol. in bagasse for the run. After the maximum run when the press system
had been operated about eight days the cages were opened to find the reason for the excessive load-
ing. Examination of the cages revealed the reason. The cage portion beneath each worm flight on the
screw shaft particularly in the discharge end showed considerable wear. This wear condition was
attributed to metal to metal contact between the worm flights and the cages rather than abrasion from
cush-cush. To correct this situation and stabilize the screw sliaft, a closer fitting center frame
bushing was installed along with double flighted worms to relieve accentric loading. To further
improve shaft stabilization, a supporting bearing is to be installed for the 1971 crop and all worms
on the sliaft will be double flighted with the exception of the feed worm.
After the changes to the screw and the reconditioning of the cages the press was put back on the
line for the remaining twelve days of the crop. Data for this run is preaented in Table 4 and a
marked improvement can be noted. During this run there was no lost time attributed to either press.
Unfortunately due to excessive mud which impaired bagasse burning and clarification the mill speed
had to be reduced for all but two days of this last run. Even with mill speed reduced the average
grinding rate for the twelve day run was 144 tons of cane per hour, which is an equivalent rate
of 3456 tons of cane per day. Upon completion of the run the press was opened to check for wear.
During the run the cush-cush contained a maximum amount of mud which should have produced the maxi-
mum abrasive characteristics. Examination of the cages and worm flights revealed that for all practi-
cal purposes there was no wear. The slight score marks present could have been due to start up and
running the press while empty.
Some general comments on the operation with the screw press system should be in order at this
point. The most significant bonus to the use of the system was improved bagasse burning. This could
be attributed to the low moisture and high temperature ot the press bagasse. These qualities actually
helped mill bagasse burn. Also there was better drainage at the crusher as evidenced by the less
frequent flow of juice over the top roll. Another benefit was removal of cush-cush during muddy con-
ditions caused less mud to be recycled to the mill and reduced slip and wear on the mill.
On two occasions cane was taken from the second set of knives and processed by the press system.
The cane was prepared prior to being pressed by two sets of knives only and the same maceration scheme
as that used on cush-cush was used. The results presented below indicate that with some improvements
primarily in maceration, cane could be processed in this manner.
Cane Processed by French Press System
The press system installed at St. Mary has capacity for handling more than the amount of cush-
cush produced. The results of the tests above indicate that it might be possible to divert some cane
from the mill in addition to the cush-cush and do satisfactory work. If this could be accomplished
a capacity increase in excess of the 12.85 per cent achieved during the 1970 crop would be realized.
Removal of cush-cush from the mill can produce a significant improvement in mill grinding capa-
city. For those mills wishing to maximize existing mill trains in order to increase production, the
French screw press or other systems for processing cush-cush deserve consideration.
Maximum Five Consecutive Day Run and Mill Performance
% Moist.
Maximum Five Consecutive Day Run and Hill Performance
Year Tons Equivalent
Per Tons Per
Hour Day
Comparison of Maximum run with Press System and Without Press System
Year Tons Equivalent Bagasse
Per Tons Per Cane Pol.
Hour Day % Pol. % Hoist. % -Pol. % Fiber Extract
Press System Performance Data for Maximum Run
First Press Second Press
% Pol. % Hoist. % Pol. % Hoist.
7.14 67.45 4.53 47.51
Cane Pol.
% Pol. % Moist. % Fiber Extract