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CLEANER TECHNOLOGY PROJECT FOR SUGAR SECTOR (CTPS)

INTRODUCTION

    Cleaner Production Institute (CPI) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization registered under Societies Registration Act of 1860. The institute aims to promote and execute environmental development projects in the industrial sectors of Pakistan and conduct research in areas concerning to environmental technology.

    CPI has initiated the Programme for Industrial Sustainable Development (PISD) on July 01, 2007 with the financial partnership of Embassy Of Kingdom Of Netherlands (EKN) to help Pakistani industry stay competitive. The programme essentially upholds the need of internalizing environment and energy costs into an economic process. Sector specific cleaner technology and energy efficiency projects are the components of PISD. Sugar is one of the four major industrial sectors- together with the leather, textile and pulp & paper- on which the programme will continue to focus over the first three years of its operation.

SUGAR INDUSTRY OF PAKISTAN

    Pakistan is sugar industry is considered to be one of the country is best organized industrial sectors. It is also ranked among the leading economic enterprises that directly or indirectly employ over 10 million people. There are about 78 sugar mills in the country with the total production capacity of 51.00 million metric tons per year (as per 2006-07). At present, the industry faces serious environmental and resource efficiency concerns which are affecting its competitiveness.

MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS

  • Wastewater

    The wastewater released by a sugar mill is mainly generated in its cooling pond, distillery, mill and process house. The sources of wastewater are evaporators, cooling water discharge, floor and vessels cleaning, leakage and spillage, and washing of filter cloths. Major pollutants in the wastewater include Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Suspended Solids (SS), and Oil & Grease.

    The volume of wastewater generated in the mill house is large and loaded with high amount of oil and grease and sugar from spills and leaks, resulting into high (BOD5) discharge. Fermentation of molasses and its subsequent distillation gives rise to a heavily acidic effluent, high in BOD5 and COD. The contaminated water is, therefore, seriously harmful to both humans and the aquatic life.

  • Air Emissions

    Boiler emissions are the major source of air pollution in sugar mills. Boilers are operated under three different conditions: fuel oil, bagasse or mixed fuel (combination of fuel oil and bagasse). The choice of fuel significantly impacts the emission. Sulphitation process in sugar refining is also responsible for generating SOx gases. Other gaseous emissions are hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide.

    High concentration of these gases in the atmosphere could lead to various health hazards and adverse environmental impacts. Most of the sugar mills are equipped with dust collectors or cyclones to capture the particulate matter. Bagasse combustion also produces bottom ash and fly ash. This is clearly a nuisance and cause different health problems.

  • Solid Waste

    Three types of solid wastes are mainly generated during the manufacturing of sugar. Bagasse is generated in the mill house after crushing shredded sugarcane and removing sugarcane juice. Press mud or filter cake is generated in vacuum and press filters. The mud is produced in a range of 3-8 % of the crushed cane, depending on the nature of sugar manufacturing process. On dry basis, the mud consists about 70% of organic matter and almost 29% of minerals. Clinker and fly ash is produced in boilers.

  • Health Risks

    Bagasse dust, fly ash, high noise levels (reaching up to 109 dB) and hot working environment are major health irritants in sugar mills. Excessive exposure to fly ash and bagasse dust may cause eye soreness, asthma, and other respiratory diseases including bagassosis (a lung disease caused by inhalation of bagasse dust). Dermatitis is a major health complaint resulting from chemical burns, and contact with lime and sugar. Toxic gasses and caustic fumes are released at various stages of the process and are severely hazardous to health.

  • Energy Losses

    Sugar industry is one of the major energy consumers amongst the industrial sectors of Pakistan. The industry possesses considerable energy conservation potential. Huge amount of finances could be saved annually by conserving energy alone through adopting energy-efficient processes and practices. In case of thermal energy, for instance, various improvements could be made particularly in steam distribution and utilization systems.

    There has been a growing interest over the recent years amongst sugar processing units to benefit from energy efficient solutions. However, the existing level of awareness needs to be improved further on continuous basis, which requires a strong support in the form of an integrated energy efficiency program.

CLEANER TECHNOLOGY PROJECT FOR SUGAR SECTOR (CTPS)

    In view of the present situation and as an effort to approach sugar industry with better solutions to the growing environmental, social and energy related problems, Programme for Industrial Sustainable Development has included CLEANER TECHNOLOGY PROJECT FOR SUGAR SECTOR (CTPS) as one of its component projects. Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) is collaborating with CPI to implement CTPS which focuses on cleaner production technology, energy efficiency, wastewater treatment, environmental management system and corporate social responsibility.