Evaluating the suitability of measuring massecuite dry substance for control on Australian pan stages

Australian sugar factories currently use massecuite conductivity to control the feed rate of syrup and molasses to pans. Conductivity control is inexpensive and works well, although it does require close attention from pan operators since the conductivity value is affected by variations in the impurity composition in the cane supply.

Microwave transducers to measure massecuite dry substance (DS) are now being used in several overseas refineries and factories for control of the massecuite condition in pans. The advantage of DS over conductivity is that it is an absolute and meaningful value in terms of the massecuite concentration. Therefore, it should be feasible to set a DS profile for pan run-up and heavy up right through to pan drop that can be repeated pan cycle after pan cycle.

Hence, the overall aim of this project is to evaluate the measurement of massecuite dry substance as a superior process variable for controlling pan boiling operations in Australian factories. Improved control will result in cost reduction due to less manual interaction than currently required with conductivity control. Steam savings resulting from tight control are also expected.

Project dates: 01/07/2023 – 01/07/2024

Funding / Grants

  • Sugar Research Australia

Chief Investigators

Other Team Members

Dr. Bryan Lavarack Mr. Anthony White