Reduced capital and operating costs for beet molasses desugarization: Industrial results from an existing separator.
Traditionally, Amalgamated Research uses a coupled loop beet molasses desugarization system (simulated moving bed (SMB) chromatography system) to separate both betaine and sucrose from the feed molasses. In recent years, Amalgamated Research has carried out extensive pilot testing to rigorously optimize the design and operation of beet molasses desugarization systems. This has led to the development of a six-cell design for the second loop, which yields robust performance at increased capacity and at reduced water usage. This new six-cell configuration for the second loop has been implemented on an industrial scale at the Amalgamated Sugar factory located in Nampa, ID. Despite the Nampa system being a relatively old Amalgamated Research design, six-cell operation showed no reduction in performance compared to eight-cell operation, thereby confirming the robustness of the results obtained on a pilot scale. The water used for the separation was also reduced by 10% from the standard design value, without any negative impact on loop 2 performance. Operation in six-cell mode has now become standard operation at Nampa. The successful factory trial demonstrated that six-cell loop 2 operation can achieve a sucrose purity and recovery comparable to that of a conventional eight-cell separator, at an increased throughput and at reduced water consumption. This represents a 25% reduction in equipment size for the second loop and a significant reduction in both capital and operating cost compared to the previous eight-cell design.