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 M. (2013) A preliminary study into the environmental and economic consequences of a sugar factory depithing operation. International Sugar Journal, 115, pp. 9-15.

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Abstract

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 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: 69070
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Bagasse, depithing, dust, particle, emissions
ISSN: 0020-8841
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (090400)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Research Centres > Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 23 Mar 2014 22:19
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2014 04:20

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