This project seeks to assess the technical and economic viability of producing large quantities of natural flocculant from bagasse biomass currently produced by Australian sugar factories.
Fuentes (2018) prepared flocculant from bagasse and compared its performance to natural and synthetic flocculants for Panela production. Chen et al. (2016) showed that cellulose could be made into a fully biodegradable and effective flocculant for waste-water treatment.
There are several facets that affect the financial viability:
1. The Australian sugar industry uses 126 tonnes a year (~$1,100,000) of synthetic flocculant, with 5ppm on juice limit. More effective mud treatments may require higher flocculant levels.
2. The world market is projected to reach USD 6.01 billion by 2022 (Anon. 2020). If natural flocculant could be produced competitively it may obtain a premium price for producing organic sugar or Panela (parts of South America use tree bark for flocculant production, which is environmentally unsustainable).