The Roundup -

New Pebble Lime System Will Improve Purification Process During Campaign

 

September 5, 2018 | View PDF

This past Inter-Campaign (Summer) has been busy shipping our sugar across the U.S. to our customers. As we do each year, we end campaign with our sixteen storage bins completely full of sugar. Now, as we approach the end of summer and a new campaign, our bins are nearly empty and we are ready for new sugar.

Summer is also a busy time for the factory as we perform regular maintenance and complete special projects and Capital improvements. One of the projects we have completed is our new Pebbled Lime System whose towering structure has changed the skyline of the factory.

Sugar Beets, like most living organisms, are made up of Water (75%), Sugar (15 to 21%), the cell walls or Pulp (3 to 5%), and Soluble Impurities or Non-Sugars (1 to 3%). The sugar beet process consists of separating these four components of the sugar beet. The process is broken into four major steps: Extraction, Purification, Evaporation and Crystallization. In simple terms, the pulp is separated during Extraction. The non-sugars are removed during Purification and the water removed during Evaporation and Crystallization.

New Pebble Lime System: Purification

In sugar beet processing, calcium oxide (Lime) is used in the Non-Sugar removal process. Lime is commonly produced in the lime kiln where limerock (CaCO3) is burned transforming the rock into lime (CaO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Water is added to the lime to make a lime slurry. The lime slurry is added to the juice purification system after which the CO2 is reintroduced, capturing non-sugars, and settles out as a solid. When processing fresh beets in the fall, less lime is needed to produce a high quality juice, however as beets begin to deteriorate in storage, additional lime is needed to counteract the deterioration of the beet. Currently the factory is limited to the amount of lime it can produce. With the new Pebbled Lime System, additional lime will be available to maintain a steady slice rate and reduce sugar losses throughout the campaign.

 

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