Reception of sugarcane is the initial stage of the production process of sugar and ethanol. Upon reaching the sugar mill, the sugar cane is weighed and analyzed in the laboratory to determine the amount of sucrose it contains. Subsequently, the cane will be washed at the feeder tables to remove impurities and foreign matter from the crop. During the preparation stage, after receipt, the sugar cane will be chopped, defibrated and leveled to be sent to the mills.
The juice of sugarcane is extracted either with the use of mills or presses. The juice extracted in the first phase of grinding is known as rich or primary juice. The juice extracted in the second phase of milling is known as poor or secondary juice, since it went through a process of imbibition in the last phase, where water was added. The mixture of the primary and secondary juices is called mixed juice, and due to the presence of bagasse coming from the grinding, it is pumped into the colander. Subsequently, the strained juice will be sent to the juice treatment area. In some mills the juice is separated, where one part will be sent to the juice treatment for the production of sugar and the other part is destined to the production of alcohol.
Although most mills use mills for the extraction of cane juice, diffusers that offer a high rate of yield are also used. In these diffusers, the cane is placed on conveyor belts where it is slightly pressed at the entrance, to then separate the bagasse juice from the cane through the addition of water by imbibition and steam. This process is called leaching. After the diffusion process, the water is removed from the bagasse by dewatering rollers, similar to those used in the mills.
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