Profitable Refining

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About
The major cost in refining, apart from the raw sugar, is energy. Stand-alone refineries generate their own steam and in most cases their own power as well. For this reason, all refiners attempt to be as thermally efficient as possible. On average refineries use about one ton of steam for every ton of sugar processed. This ratio depends to a large extent on the quality of raw sugar being processed. Older refineries tend to be less energy efficient. Some of the newer refineries get well below the average steam requirement by process integration involving a somewhat greater capital investment. Refiners with access to cheap forms of fuel are at a big advantage. Historically, due to the relative paucity of fuel and capital in the cane-growing colonies, most final refining was done close to the eventual consumers.