An alternative to double Sulphitation process

To produce nil sulphur high quality refined sugar.
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An alternative to double Sulphitation process

In India, sugar is refined using the double Sulphitation method followed by refining of white sugar. In the process, continuous supply of Sulphur dioxide is provided from a Sulphur burner. This is the widely adopted method as it is economical. However, the end product contains Sulphur dioxide to the extent of 20-70 ppm which might cause health hazards.

About the organisation 

Solidaridad is an international network which works with partners around the world to make global trade sustainable and climate resilient. The sugarcane programme of Solidaridad Asia in India is operational in 4 states which aims to build sustainable supply chains. This is done by working across stakeholders such as farmers, mill owners, sugarcane societies and the end consumers. Solidaridad works with 13 mills and 1,60,000 sugarcane farmers in India to help farmers to adopt better production practices, help private companies to apply sustainable practices in sourcing and production and help consumers to be aware of the sustainable sugar supply chains.



Sulphitation is used as a process of purification of cane juice by employing lime and Sulphur dioxide gas.  In the process of Sulphitation, continuous supply of Sulphur dioxide is provided from a Sulphur burner by burning Sulphur in presence of air. This process is used in the white sugar manufacturing industry. However, the major drawback of this process is the higher sulphited ash content of the sugar obtained which has approximately 30-70ppm Sulphur dioxide in the final product.


Description of the challenge  

The Sulphatisation process though widely used across the sugar mills, because of its cost effectiveness has several other disadvantages such as consistency in clarity and low colour. Apart from this, the use of Sulphur decreases the pH of the syrup which sometimes causes high inversion losses.  This makes it non competitive in the international markets as well as meeting the standards of local pharmaceutical and beverage industries.


Key sustainability issues

SO2 content in the final product beyond the international standards (10ppm)
Higher inversion losses


For who and how it works

It works for the sugar mills which can help them to upgrade the technology so as to produce raw and refined sugar of export quality. It also works for organisation which works across the supply chains to promote sustainable practices which are efficient and cost effective.


Possible Matches: Any technique that helps in producing chemical free, nil Sulphur, refined quality sugar. 

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