Sugar Beet Pulp

March 9, 1995
Rev. April 2003

Trials were run in 1995 with Vincent screw presses on sugar beet pulp. These trials were performed at the Western Sugar refinery in Ft. Morgan, Colorado.

Sugar beet sugar is produced in states ranging from Colorado to Wisconsin. The beets look like oversize potatoes when they are received at the plant. They are washed and then sliced into corrugated wafers that look very much like Pringles Potato Chips. These slices are called cossettes. They are run through a diffuser, which subjects the cossettes to a bath of hot water. This process dissolves the sugar out of the beet. The sugar is recovered through evaporation, while the remaining beet pulp is converted into pelleted animal feed.

To convert the beet pulp into animal feed, the pulp is first pressed to remove as much water as possible. Then it is dried down to 10 to 12% moisture in rotating drum dryers; following this step it is pelleted. The pressing operation is traditionally performed in Stord twin screw presses.

The Stord presses, which have been in use since 1963, normally achieve 74% moisture in the press cake. During our testing they were achieving only 76% to 78% moisture even though a press aid (aluminum sulfate) was being used.

Our initial test results with a 6" lab press ranged from 81% to 84% moisture. With changes to cone pressure, screens and screw speeds we were able to consistently achieve 78% press cake. Curiously, our CP-4 Mini-Press achieved 72% to 75%. The customer has a Vincent VP-10 in use in a recovery application; it was previously tested on beet pulp and achieved 73 to 74% moisture.

We are confident that Twin Screw Vincent presses equipped Cargill high compression screw design will achieve press cake moisture of 74%.

The Vincent press has greatly reduced maintenance costs compared to the Stord, and the initial capital expenditure is considerably less. Potential customers especially like the
use of an off-the-shelf OEM gearbox in the Vincent press. This will give us a good entry into the sugar beet industry.

April 2003 Update: We have yet to sell a second press for this application. The Model TSP-30 will handle 4,000 tons per day of beets.

Issue 23