By-products of the sugar making process


Molasses is the only by-product obtained in the preparation of sugar through repeated crystallization. The yield of molasses per ton of sugarcane varies in the range of 4.5% to 5%. Molasses is mainly used for the manufacture of alcohol, yeast and cattle feed. Alcohol in turn is used to produce ethanol, rectified spirit, potable liquor and downstream value added chemicals such as acetone, acetic acid, butanol, acetic an-hydride, MEG etc.

The state government controls the export of molasses through export licenses issued every quarter. Molasses and alcohol-based industries were decontrolled in 1993 and are now being controlled by respective state government polices. Nearly 90% of molasses produced is consumed by the industrial alcohol manufacturers and the remaining 10% is consumed by the potable alcohol sector.


Bagasse is a fibrous residue of cane stalk that is obtained after crushing and extraction of juice. It consists of water, fiber and relatively small quantities of soluble solids. The composition of bagasse varies based on the variety of sugarcane, maturity of cane, method of harvesting and the efficiency of the sugar mill. Bagasse is usually used as a combustible in furnaces to produce steam, which in turn is used to generate power. It is also used as a raw material for production of paper and as feedstock for cattle.

By making use of bagasse sugar mills have been successful in reducing dependence on State Electric Boards, for their power supply as it can procure up to 90-95% of its total power requirement through captive generation from steam turbines.

Fly ash:

Fly Ash is the residual output from the boiler furnace after bagasse has completely burnt out. This fly ash is used as a substitute for firewood. It is rich in potassium and is also used by local farmers for cultivation.

Press Mud:

Press mud, also known as oliver cake or press cake, is the residual output after the filtration of the juice. It is mixed with spent wash from the distillery and cultivated to produce high quality bio-manure.

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