Reducing effluents in the sugar industry: new alternative systems.

Develop processes in order to decrease effluents from ion
exchange resins decolourisation in the sugar industry.
these processes include effluent treatment with white-rot
fungus and a new resin regeneration system.

The RESINAS Project envisages the modification of ion-exchange resin process used to decolorize sugar solutions with the main objective of reducing the effluent produced during resin regeneration. In the traditional resin regeneration process an alkalinised sodium chloride solution is used. The effluent resulting from this regeneration process is characterised by a high level of phenolic compounds, COD and a high colour. These compounds are harmful to traditional wastewater treatment plants and those responsible for the intense colouration are poorly degraded in such plants. In order to reduce the quantity of rejected effluent a nanofiltration process is used at the SAINT LOUIS SUCRE Refinery. However, the resulting effluent continues to be detrimental to waste water treatment plants. In this project this effluent will be treated with a white-rot fungus in order to increase its treatability in traditional effluents treatment systems. The effluent treatment with the white-rot fungus has been studied by one of the project partners since 1993 and is a new process to treat resins regenerant effluents from sugar industry. The results from this study will be tested and applied to the retentate resulting from nanofiltration treatment. A continuous system using the fungus in an immobilised form will be tried in an experimental station at SAINT LOUIS SUCRE Refinery. Another part of this project envisages the application of the recent resin regeneration process developed by RAR S.A. during EUREKA project EU 820 SUGAR. This process consists of the utilisation of calcium chloride and calcium hydroxide in a sucrose solution. In this project this regeneration process will be used in a cane sugar refinery and a beet sugar factory. The resulting regeneration effluent will be treated by chemical precipitation alone or with membrane filtration. The previously described fungus treatment will be used to treat the residual effluent. An experimental station will be projected and installed at RAR and a beet sugar factory by APPLEXION. The optimisation of ion-exchange resins application and nanofiltration treatment will also be studied. In this project, the authors of novel developments in the sugar industry, already proved in previous research studies, will combine their views in order to apply new techniques for the utilisation of ion-exchange resins to decolorize cane sugar liquors or beet sugar juices. A completely new sugar decolorization system will be developed, being less pollutant, with less energy consumption and obtaining a final product, sugar, with a better quality. This system will be obtained with the implementation of the RESINAS project. Keywords: sugar, waste, resins.
Project ID: 
1 974
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 500 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.