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Seminar on cleaner sugar complex

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by Vijaykumar Patil

Apr.28: For industries, particularly the sugar industry of the country, it’s time to act, efficiently and scrupulously to meet the norms of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) by adopting modern technological innovations to reduce not just the effluents but its generation itself at the source level.

The need to act in this direction was strongly felt at the one day “National Seminar on Modern Technologies for Reducing Effluent generation during the sugar processing/distilleries & further treatment of effluent to meet CPCB norms”. The day long deliberations followed by interactions with the representatives of the sugar industry, which included chemists and those looking after production, effluent treatment in sugar mills and distilleries and members of managements concluded on a resolute note that stake holders would try their best to meet the CPCB norms, even as some of them expressed lack of proper information about latest technologies to adopted for proper treatment of effluents.

The seminar was organised by S. Nijalingappa Sugar Institute (SNSI), a Karnataka State government established research institute in Belagavi  – the sugar bowl of Karnataka, engaged in developing new varieties of sugarcane with the objective of increasing productivity and thereby improve financial conditions of the sugarcane growers, whose plight has been highly pity owing to unscientific prices offered by the mill owners/managements. The National Sugar Institute, Kanpur associated with the SNSI to organise the seminar at latter’s premises in Belagavi on Friday. On the occasion, Narendra Mohan, Director, NSI Kanpur released the technical booklet, which later was distributed among the sugar millers.

Mr.Mohan, who inaugurated the seminar, briefly reviewed the existing status of effluent treatment norms and called upon the managements of sugar mills and distilleries to embrace the modern technologies to meet the CPCB norms and emphatically stressed on the need to control fresh water use. He stressed on the need to reduce the effluent discharge and harness surplus water as by-product. He is of the opinion that it is possible for the sugar mills to run and operate in a manner that it substantially brings down effluent discharge without using additional water, even as he later presented a new research paper on electro-coagulation technology for treating the sugar mill effluents.

R.B. Khandgave, Director of SNSI was also emphatic while stressing on the need for controlling pollution by following CPCB guidelines promptly. He drew attention towards the rapid increase in the density of human population in certain pockets of the country as a result of urbanisation and industrialization, which was making an adverse impact on the quality of both surface and ground water further leading the public health system of the country.

Dr.Khandagave pointed out that the demand for water was increasing on one hand and on the other hand, the quantity of usable water resources was decreasing due to human intervention resulting in pollution of fresh water. This situation calls for more effective measures for protection of existing water resources from pollution as it was most essential for water conservation. He advised the managements of the sugar mills and distilleries to organise special training programmes for their technical staff to upgrade their skills for better control over pollution.

Seminar on cleaner sugar complex
Narendra Mohan, Director, National Sugar Institute, Kanpur along with Director of S. Nijalingappa Sugar Institute Dr.R.B. Khandagave released technical booklet on CPCB norms for sugar mills and distilleries at a national seminar in Karnataka’s Belagavi.

SNSI Adviser M.B. Londhe presented a review of the existing effluent technologies used for sugar mill effluent as well as distillery effluent. He informed on how surplus and good quality water of the order of 130 to 150 liters per tonne of sugarcane could be harnessed as byproduct. Raw water consumption for sugar factory process could be achieved near to zero by reuse and recycling of available condensate.

Dr.Londhe said after using the surplus condensate for distillery, the CPCB norms of waste water may be achieved. The treated waste water after tertiary treatment may be reused for ancillary units in sugar complex and thus, zero water discharge to inland surface water may be achieved effectively. As per the CPCB 2016 norms, waste water generation is fixed at 200 liters per tonne of sugarcane crushed.  The effluent discharge, after the final treatment, is restricted to 100 litre per tonne of sugarcane crushed and waste water from spray pond overflow or cooling tower. In case of distillery, zero liquid discharge is of prime importance, he stressed.

Jagdish I. H., Regional Officer, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board highlighted on the CPCB requirements for sugar mills & distilleries vis-a-vis general non-compliance observed by sugar mills. He also explained steps to be taken before starting of crushing season and said that as per CPCB guidelines, sugar mills shall install “Real time monitoring system having connectivity with CPCB and state pollution control board to assess the quantity & quality of effluent of continuous basis”. 

Mr. Pattanshetti, Managing Director of Dudhganga Krishna Sahakari Sakkare Karkhane shared his experience for monitoring effluent in sugar industry. NSI scientists Mahendra Yadav and Amresh Pratap also presented their articles. The technology providers M/s. Swan Enterprises, M/s. Nevoco Engineers and M/s. Electrotech Enterprises also presented their views on advantages of modern technologies in reducing effluents and water in sugar mills and distilleries.


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