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Plate Heat Exchanger in Sugar Processing

Sugar refining involves the continuous heat transfer to and from different juice flows throughout the process. During this process, a lot of waste were sparked by energy cost with heat transfer inefficiencies. If refiners employed Plate Heat Exchangers instead of tubular exchangers, the difference in efficiency levels (thermal efficiency is 200–300 per cent greater in sugar applications) means that they could employ lower grade heat sources such as condensate or low pressure vapour in place of expensive steam for many parts of the process. The steam saved could be used to generate electricity to power the process.

Juice extraction
The beets are sliced into thin strips, preheated in a cossette scalder and are then sent to an extraction tower. Water at 70° Celsius is poured through the device to extract the sugar and produce raw juice. The used cosettes are dried by means of screw presses and hot air.

Juice purification
A lime kiln is used to produce the natural substances lime and carbon dioxide, which are added sequentially to the raw juice to bind and precipitate out the non-sugar impurities. A clear, thin juice with a sugar content of about sixteen percent remains.

The thin juice is concentrated by heating to make a thick golden brown juice with a sugar content of about sixty-seven percent.

The thick juice is boiled until crystals are formed, which are a glowing golden yellow color because they are covered with syrup. The syrup is separated from the crystals in a centrifuge. Hot water is used to rinse off any residual syrup. The remaining sugar crystals are clear as glass, and the light refracted from them is white as snow. This sugar is dissolved and re-crystallized to produce refined sugar – sugar that is extremely pure.

The finished sugar is dried, cooled and stored in silos, and is subsequently withdrawn and further processed or packed. Over eighty percent of the sugar is shipped to the converting industry, which uses it to make confectioneries, beverages, baked goods, etc. Just under twenty percent of the sugar is converted to various types of household sugar and packaged.

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