|Environmental Handbook Volume II: Agriculture, Mining/Energy, Trade/Industry (GTZ, 1995, 736 p.)|
|Trade and industry|
Sugar is produced jointly by agriculture (crop growing) and industry (processing technology), and there are close links in the ecological and technical fields. The use of modern agricultural knowledge and methods in the growing of the raw material, particularly with regard to fertilizer and pesticide application, largely determines the technological value of beet and cane (all physical, mechanical, chemical and biological properties of the raw material). High-quality raw material facilitates the tasks of extraction and juice purification and this in turn is reflected in improved technological - and hence in the final analysis economic - performance of the factory (higher sugar yields).
Excess bagasse can be used for the additional generation of electricity for the national grid (power stations sector) or for briquette production (domestic fuel supply). Bagasse is also a raw material for the manufacture of hardboard, cardboard or paper (wood and paper sector). Molasses, as well as extracts from cane and beet, are used as the raw material for fermentation processes (fermentation technology and biotechnology sector). Sugar is processed in numerous branches of the food industry. Refined sugar can be used in drug manufacture (pharmaceuticals sector).
All sugar beet and some sugar cane processing factories are equipped with lime kilns for the production of calcium oxide and carbon dioxide, and there are thus parallels with the cement/lime sector.
There are also links with the water supply, wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal sectors generally.