BAGASSE: VALUABLE RESIDUE
Bagasse is the residue obtained from crushing cane in the mills. It contains 50% moisture & 2% sugar & the balance is fibre. Bagasse is used as a raw material by the paper industry. It is also very commonly used as fuel in boilers in the sugar factory for co-generation of power. Bagasse & wood fibre are made into building boards by a process analogous to paper making.
Whereas bagasse is primarily used to meet the captive requirement of fuel, a substantial quantity of it can be saved and diverted for use in other industries. Inside a sugar plant, bagasse is generally used as a combustible in furnaces to produce steam, which in turn is used to generate power. The composition and quality of bagasse varies based on the variety of sugarcane, maturity of cane, method of harvesting and the efficiency of the sugar mill.
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. However, Dwarikesh has achieved a distinction in this field as it generates enough power to meet its internal demand as well as to sell it to the State power grid. The company is also planning to set up a paper plant for the optimum utilization of its by-product "bagasse".
Press mud is commonly known as filter cake and is used as manure by the farmers. It is combustible and also used in brick kilns for brick making. When mixed with the spent wash generated by the distilleries, the resultant product is enriched organic manure, which has the capability to improve yields in farms. It also mitigates the need to treat the distillery effluent, which is very toxic and is high on BOD and COD content.
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.