In the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota, sugar refining is usually a lengthy processing period that lasts over 240 days that starts in the fall and progresses through the winter and spring seasons. Throughout the processing time frame, the sugar beet raw material can change significantly as fed to the refinery. It starts out as fresh during harvest and ends up being deeply frozen stored for 240 days and can be characterized by every quality condition in between based on the storage conditions throughout the campaign. With this in mind, the refinery mass and energy balances change significantly throughout this time frame based on the raw material and weather conditions. By utilizing the Sugars™ program, the factory operating numbers can be matched with the current model to optimize the processing configuration for a given set of conditions. The exercise enables the operations staff at the facility to use the information within the model to change/modify equipment during the summer months to help eliminate bottlenecks in the operation during the challenging times. The Sugars™ program has been a very useful tool in understanding the relationships ranging from color generation to waste heat recovery within the refining process. That knowledge can then be utilized to make sound economic decisions that ultimately add to the bottom line of the organization.

Dr. Jeffrey L. Sobolik
Operations Development
Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative
Wahpeton, North Dakota, USA

2018-07-06T08:07:12+00:00

Dr. Jeffrey L. Sobolik
Operations Development
Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative
Wahpeton, North Dakota, USA