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Sugar refinery

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(Redirected from Sugar refining)
Hawaii Commercial Sugar (HC&S) sugar mill in Pu'unene, Hawaii.
Sugar refinery in Arabi, Louisiana, United States.
Sugar refinery in Groningen, The Netherlands

A sugar refinery is a refinery which processes raw sugar into white refined
sugar or that processes sugar beet to refined sugar.

Many cane sugar mills produce raw sugar, which is sugar that still contains
molasses, giving it more colour (and any associated nutrients) than the white
sugar which is normally consumed in households and used as an ingredient in
soft drinks and foods. While cane sugar does not strictly need refining, sugar
from beet is almost always refined to remove the strong, almost always
unwanted, taste of beets from it. The refined sugar produced is more than 99
percent pure sucrose.

Whereas many sugar mills only operate during a limited time of the year
during the cane harvesting period, many cane sugar refineries work the
whole year round. Sugar beet refineries tend to have shorter periods when
they process beet but may store intermediate product and process that in the

Raw sugar is either processed into white refined sugar in local refineries, and
sold to the local industry and consumers, or it is exported and refined in the
country of destination. Sugar refineries are often located in heavy sugarconsuming regions such as North America, Europe, and Japan. Since the
1990s many state-of-the art sugar refineries have been built in the MENA
region, e.g. in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Algeria. The worlds largest sugar
refinery company is American Sugar Refining with facilities in North America
and Europe.


1 Affination
2 Purification
3 Sugar house
4 Sugar drying and storage
5 Byproducts
6 Factory automation in sugar refineries
7 References
8 External links, Bibliography

Raw sugar storage in a sugar refinery

The raw sugar is stored in large warehouses and then transported into the
sugar refinery by means of transport belts. In the traditional refining process,
the raw sugar is first mixed with heavy syrup and centrifuged to wash away
the outer coating of the raw sugar crystals, which is less pure than the crystal
interior. Many sugar refineries today buy high pol sugar and can do without
the affination process.

The remaining sugar is then dissolved to make a syrup (about 70 percent by

weight solids), which is clarified by the addition of phosphoric acid and
calcium hydroxide that combine to precipitate calcium phosphate. The
calcium phosphate particles entrap some impurities and absorb others, and
then float to the top of the tank, where they are skimmed off.

After any remaining solids are filtered out, the clarified syrup is decolorized
by filtration through a bed of activated carbon or, in more modern plants, ionexchange resin.

Sugar house
Vacuum pans
Continuous sugar centrifugal for recovery products

The purified syrup is then concentrated to supersaturation and repeatedly

crystallized under vacuum to produce white refined sugar. As in a sugar mill,
the sugar crystals are separated from the mother liquor by centrifuging. To
produce granulated sugar, in which the individual sugar grains do not clump
together, sugar must be dried.
Sugar drying and storage

Drying is accomplished first by drying the sugar in a hot rotary dryer, and
then by blowing cool air through Centrifugal Blower/fan it for several days in
so-called conditioning silos. The finished product is stored in large concrete or
steel silos. It is shipped in bulk, big bags or 25 50 kg bags to industrial
customers or packed in consumer-size packages to retailers.

The dried sugar must be handled with caution, as sugar dust explosions are
possible. A sugar dust explosion which led to 13 fatalities was the 2008
Georgia sugar refinery explosion in Port Wentworth, GA.

Press Mud

Factory automation in sugar refineries

As in many other industries factory automation has been promoted heavily in

sugar refineries in recent decades. The production process is generally
controlled by a central process control system, which directly controls most of

the machines and components. Only for certain special machines such as the
centrifuges in the sugar house decentralized PLCs are used for security

"article on centrifugal controls, retrieved on April 23, 2011".

Retrieved 2013-07-12.

External links, Bibliography

sugar related online glossary

Sugar refining
Centrifugal control and the quality of white sugar by Barbara Rog et. al.,
retrieved on 27 June, 2010


Onses, Richard (1987). Continuous dissolution process for sugar, in

Alimentacion Equipos y Tecnologio, Editorial Alcion, May 1987. Barcelona.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sugar factories.



Sugar (as food commodity)

List of sugars and sugar products

Fructose Galactose Glucose Lactose Maltose Sucrose Trehalose Xylose

Monosaccharide Disaccharide Free sugar Reducing sugar

Close-up view of sugar cane & refined sugar


Sugar beet Sugarcane Agave nectar Birch Coconut Date Honeydew Maple


Candi sugar Corn syrup Glucose syrup Golden syrup High fructose corn
syrup High maltose corn syrup Honey Inverted sugar syrup Kuromitsu
Maesilcheong Maple syrup Molasses Pine honey Steen's cane syrup Treacle

Solid forms

Brown Chancaca Crystalline fructose Gelling Jaggery Misri Mizuame

Molasses sugar Muscovado Nib Non-centrifugal cane sugar Panela Plantation
Reserve Powdered Preserving Rock candy Sucanat Sugar candy
Barley sugar Butterscotch Candy Hard Toffee Sugar glass Sugarloaf

Other forms

Caramel Cotton candy floss Maple sugar foods Rum Sugar alcohol Sugar
confectionery Sugarcane juice Tuzemk Unrefined sweeteners


Boilery Plantation
Casa grande Refinery Sugar bush Sugar cane mill Engenho Batey Zafra

By region (current)

Cuba Caribbean Philippines Sri Lanka U.S. Sugar Program

By region (historical)

Danish West Indies Fiji Hawaii


Amelioration Act 1798 Blackbirding Colonial molasses trade Demerara

rebellion of 1823 Holing cane Molasses Act Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 Slavery
in the British and French Caribbean Sugar Act Sugar Duties Act 1846 Sugar
Intervention Taiwan Sugar Railways Triangular trade


Crop over Sugar house Sugaring Sugar nips Sugar packet

Sucrology Sugar people Sugar tit Sugar sculpture Treacle mine


Added sugar Australian Aboriginal sweet foods Bagasse Barley malt syrup
Brown rice syrup Cane knife Flavored syrup Fruit syrup
Date honey Grape Jallab Nectar Sugar addiction Sugars in wine
Residual sugar Sugar substitute Sweetened beverage Sweetener
Sweetness Vinasse Yacn syrup

Category Category Category Production

Authority control

NDL: 00570455


SugarFood industryIndustrial buildingsSugar refineries

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