Sugar Science
Products Designed Specifically for a Unique Industry

Sugar Science

Sugar mill boilers operate in an unstable environment. Operators of these boilers must be prepared to cope with feedwater that is very pure condensate one moment and the next is grossly contaminated with sugar and other organics. Startup is with stored water, which is in limited supply and often runs short if the startup does not go smoothly. If the mill has problems and slows down or stops, good quality makeup is often unobtainable and water of very poor quality must be used.

Southwest Engineers, drawing on years of hands-on experience with sugar mill boilers, has developed a line of products designed specifically for these boilers. The first requirement of this product line was that it must be fault tolerant. Any component that would work only under rigidly controlled operation was rejected. Robust, proven performance under a wide variety of conditions was a prerequisite for inclusion in this line of products.

Recently some of the proven, workhorse polymers have been enhanced by grafting onto their backbone a tag, which can be reliably assayed. The state of the art is now to test directly for the polymer rather than some ancillary component such as phosphate or sulfite. This test can easily be run by operating personnel and for the first time allows for the direct measurement of active polymer. Southwest Engineers has incorporated these polymers in our Sugar Science products.

The list of candidates for inclusion in the Sugar Science line of products was then further narrowed to address the primary problems encountered in sugar mill boilers, foaming and metal precipitation. Sequestrants for iron and copper were added to the polymers to further enhance their performance. Antifoam is a part of the phosphate package as its solubility prevents it from being added to the sludge conditioner formulation.

The raw sugar cane mills in the United States form a unique family of factories and each mill within that family is different. Southwest Engineers is committed to the concept that the best results can be obtained by narrowly focusing upon the problems in the individual mills and then designing a solution specifically for that plant.