Submitted to: Sugar Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The United States produces about 8.6 million tons of sugarcane bagasse per year. Most of the bagasse is burned to produce steam. The remainer, about 1.4 million tons, presents a disposal problem or is used in low-value products. An alternative use would be to convert the bagasse to activated carbon, a value-added product. In this study, bagasse-based carbons were shown to decolorize raw cane sugar comparable to that of commercial carbons. However, bagasse-based carbon did not fully match commercial carbons in all physical and chemical properties examined. Nevertheless, because of its lower anticipated production cost than comparable commercial decolorizers, bone char and coal-based carbon, it could find use as a low-cost sugar decolorizer in sugar refineries.
Technical Abstract: This paper reports on the evaluation of several bagasse-based GAC materials in sugar decolorization trials, in comparison with commercial carbon preparations. The type of binder used was found to have potent effects on the properties of the bagasse-based GACs. Several of these GACs gave sugar decolorization comparable to that achieved by the commercial preparations, although none of them fully matched the commercial material in physico-chemical terms. The cheapness and availability of bagasse, and the encouraging results so far collated, suggest that further research should be conducted into the potential of bagasse-based GACs.