Determining the performance of different flocculants used for efficient sugar cane juice clarification at kakira sugar limited
Namugwanya, Mary Kevin
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During juice clarification, flocculants (high molecular weight polymers) are added to increase the settling rates and improve on the properties of both the underflow (mud precipitate) and clear juice However this is not normally achieved due to variation in the quality of some commercially available flocculants made by different manufacturers and also due to the different climatic conditions. The inconsistency of the pH and turbidity of clear juice and the floc sizes and volume of the precipitate often affect the quality (particularly color) of the final product. This increases the final molasses quantity which is a loss to the factory performance and also increases the use of sulphur to bleach the excess coloring matter. Three flocculants were analyzed that is Magna floc LT 27 AG, AS113 and AS114. These samples were obtained from Kakira Sugar Limited (Jinja). The method used was the settling test where the floc sizes, mud compaction were observed. The clear juice obtained after the settling tests for each flocculant was used for the analysis for turbidity by using a spectrophotometer at 900 nm, and suspended solids at 810 nm and then finally pH by using a pH meter. It was observed that at all concentrations, all the flocculants gave big flocs, and good mud compaction. AS 113 had the lowest turbidity and suspended solids at all concentrations, followed by AS 114 and then Magna floc LT 27 AG. The turbidity for all samples was highest at 3 ppm and lowest at 2.5 ppm. For effective clarification, all parameters are considered for the best flocculant to be used therefore the required company’s range or values of the parameters were compared with the ones obtained from the experiments and it was concluded that AS113 at concentration of 3 ppm was the best with a pH of 6.79, turbidity of 168 NTU, and suspended solids of 251 mg/l in the clear juice which are within the range of the company’s set targets of those different parameters.