A preliminary study into the environmental and economic consequences of a sugar factory depithing operation

Rainey, Thomas J., Mann, Anthony P., Bakir, Hakan, & O'Hara, Ian Mark (2012) A preliminary study into the environmental and economic consequences of a sugar factory depithing operation. In Bruce, Robin (Ed.) 34th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists , 1-4 May 2012, Novotel Rockford Resort, Palm Cove, Queensland.

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Bagasse stockpile operations have the potential to lead to adverse environmental and social impacts. Dust releases can cause occupational health and safety concerns for factory workers and dust emissions impact on the surrounding community.

Preliminary modelling showed that bagasse depithing would likely reduce the environmental risks, particularly dust emissions, associated with large scale bagasse stockpiling operations. Dust emission properties were measured and used for dispersion modelling with favourable outcomes. Modelling showed a 70% reduction in peak ground level concentrations of PM10 dust (particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 µm) from operations on depithed bagasse stockpiles compared to similar operations on stockpiles of whole bagasse. However, the costs of a depithing operation at a sugar factory were estimated to be approximately $2.1 million in capital expenditure to process 100,000 t/y of bagasse and operating costs were approximately $200,000 p.a. The total capital cost for a 10,000 t/y operation was approximately $1.6 million. The cost of depithing based on a discounted cash flow analysis was $5.50 per tonne of bagasse for the 100,000 t/y scenario. This may make depithing prohibitively expensive in many situations if installed exclusively as a dust control measure.

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ID Code: 50738
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: bagasse, stockpile, pith, depithing, dust
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (090400) > Chemical Engineering not elsewhere classified (090499)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 05 Jun 2012 01:04
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:44

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