By Published On: March 15th, 2016Categories: Blog, Knick AnalyticsComments Off on pH Measurement in Sugar Refineries

Sugar makes life sweet – but only as an end product. Sugar Production is a complex process and pH measurement in Sugar Refineries is one of the key element in sugar production process. The first step in sugar production from beet involves washing and cleaning them of sand, dirt and stones. The beets are then chopped and crushed to form a raw juice. This raw juice is still contaminated with organic and inorganic materials. This raw juice is purified in 2 steps of carbonation. The final thin juice is thickened in several evaporators and then finally turned into crystal sugar by crystallization. The complete production process strains the measuring equip­ment to a high degree. The sticky juice extracted from the sugar beets and its initially high proportion of solids puts a heavy strain on the measuring points. In addition to the organic impuri­ties of the initially viscous syrup, the challenges for the sensor technology, particularly in juice purification, lie in excessive lime deposits and in tempera­tures up to 95 °C.


As mentioned earlier, continuous pH measurement in sugar refineries is very crucial during the entire process.The critical step in sugar production is carbonation. The efficiency of Carbonation strongly depends on pH value. The pH value is continuously measured during both carbonation steps. The challenge to the pH measurement in sugar refineries  in the second carbonation stage is often more critical because of high contents of solids, high temperature, excessive deposit formation by lime, non-sugar particles and sticky syrup.


Failsafe, reliable pH measurement in sugar refineries is not only crucial for the efficiency of sugar production, but is also the basis for the economic use of the resources employed. Significant costs are incurred for fossil fuels and burnt lime, which is needed in large quantities to regu­late pH values and to purify the juice. Because sugar producers burn the lime on site, a reduction in lime consump­tion leads to significant savings in the energy required and to less pollution, which means less deposits in the carbonisation system in particular. The only solution to pH measurement in sugar refineries during this process is automated retractable fittings.


The pH sensors have to be checked and cleaned with acid several times a day during this process. To automate the measuring point with the goal of high availability, our Ceramat WA 150 sensor lock-gate has proven especially successful. In conjunction with the automatic Unical 9000 controller, the sensor is automatically cleaned with acid and calibrated at regular intervals. Due to the sluggishness of the process (1 measured value per 30 min), the sensor can stay in the rinsing chamber and just be briefly moved into the process for measurement to increase the service life.


Thus, The Ceramat WA150 sensor lock gate together with Unical 9000 automatic cleaning and calibration system allows complete automation of this difficult measuring point with maximum availability. The Ceramat lock-gate consists of a virtually indestructible, ultra hard, super polished rotating ceramic part and a corrosion resistant, carbon reinforced, non-moving plastic(PEEK) housing. The ceramic with its rotary movement is not influenced by the incrustations and the static probe housing shows hardly any deposits.


To combat the heavy deposits on the process-wetted Ceramat parts, Knick offers the sensor lock-gate with a pneu­matically operated elastomeric bellows that blasts away solidified deposits at regular intervals. As this task can be performed in mainstream, no by-pass is required.


The short video demonstrates unique lock gate principle for Ceramat:


We can provide pH measuring equipment for all measuring points inside a sugar factory. Please contact us individual solution to suit your application

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