status &utikliation of press mud in agriculture
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - pressmud
Topic: Status & Utilization of Press mud and molasses
in crop production
Press mud and molasses are the basically by-product of sugarcane which could be
used for a better purpose in the crop production and management to get better crop
growth and improving soil physical condition rather more organically without causing
any harm to the environment.
They are released during the industrial milling process and have the great potential to
be used as the organic fertilizer so that the indiscriminate use of the chemical fertilizers
could be reduced and soil health must be maintained which should be our utmost
In agriculture sector, sugarcane shared about 7% of the total value of agriculture output
and occupied about 2.6% of India’s gross cropped area during 2006-07.Being a flexible
crop, sugarcane is a rich source of-
(a) Fiber containing cellulose material.
(b) Food containing sucrose, fructose, syrups, jaggery.
(c) Fodder made from green leaves and top of cane, molasses, bagasse, sugar press
(d) Fuel from residue/waste of sugar industry.
(e) Chemicals like alcohol, bagasse & molasses.
The four main by-products of the sugarcane industry are-
a) cane tops b) bagasse c) press mud and d) molasses.
Sugarcane provides raw material for the second largest agro-based industry after
textile. About 527 working sugar factories with total installed annual sugar production
capacity of about 242 lakh tonnes are located in the country during 2010-11. The time
when cost of chemical fertilizer is skyrocketing and not affordable by farmers, press
mud has promise as a source of plant nutrient and as medium for raising sugarcane
seedlings and leguminous inoculants.
So a large amount of waste releasing from the industries could be used on a large scale
for organic fertilizer production.
Status and Utilization:
If we accept that the present world production of sugarcane has reached the 60 million
tonnes level, then the quantities of these by-products produced yearly are
approximately the following:
Cane top 200 mt Fresh weight
Bagasse 60 mt Bone dried weight
Press mud 5 mt Air dried weight
Molasses 16 mt At 80 per cent DM
The flow chart regarding production of various sugarcane by-products such as press
mud, molasses is given below:
Molasses is the final effluent obtained in the preparation of sugar by repeated
crystallization; it is the residual syrup from which no crystalline sucrose can be obtained
by simple means. The yield of molasses is approximately 3.0 percent per tonne of cane
but it is influenced by a number of factors and may vary within a wide range (2.2 to 3.7
percent). The specific gravity varies between 1.39 and 1.49, with 1.43 as indicative
The composition of molasses varies also within fairly wide limits but, on average, would
be as follows:
Nitrogenous compounds 4.5%
Other carbohydrates 4%
Commercial use an molasses organic acid phytochelate, derived from what would
otherwise be a discarded portion of sugar cane, that could increase the domestic sugar
industry’s profit margin from near zero to 7%. Along with helping a struggling industry,
the phytochelate will bring substantial improvements to crop and tree production and
greatly reduce the environmental threat posed by nitrogen-based fertilizers. Currently,
the amount of fertilizer used produces harmful levels of run-off that contaminates
ground water with unwanted nitrogen. By utilizing organic acid phytochelates, which
assist plant growth by unlocking minerals stored in soil, fertilizer use can be dramatically
reduced. This would improve crop yields, remove environmental threats to ground
water, and cut fertilizer costs by as much as 50%.The phytochelates in this process are
derived from sugar cane by-products (molasses or raffinate). Dextrose and fructose are
removed and converted to lactic and succinic acids and processed through
centrifugation, clarification, filtration, and softening. This chromatographic process uses
a multiple column pseudo-moving-bed design that incorporates a weak cation resin. The
lactic and succinic acids are fermented in several steps to separate unwanted material,
including material for use as a high protein animal feed, then are further purified and
evaporated for handling and storage. Extensive laboratory, greenhouse, and field
testing, using a wide variety of both highvalue (vegetables, fruit trees, grapes) and high-
volume (field corn, soybeans) test crops, have shown that fermentation succinic acid,
either alone or used in a raffinate carrier system, can increase vegetative and
reproductive plant growth and boost yield harvests at high statistical probabilities.
Hence, major end-uses for fermentation succinic acid and fermentation succinic acid
supplemented with molasses raffinate as plant growth enhancers have been
demonstrated. These formulations can be used either as soil or foliar applied
treatments. However, more testing has been done using soil treatments.
% of Minerals in molasses (per 100g):
Calcium (21%) 205 mg
Iron (36%) 4.72 mg
Magnesium (68%) 242 mg
Manganese (73%) 1.53 mg
Phosphorus (4%) 31 mg
Potassium (31%) 1464 mg
Sodium (2%) 37 mg
Zinc (3%) 0.29 mg
Types of molasses:
The different types are: first molasses, second molasses, unsulphured molasses,
sulphured molasses, and blackstrap molasses.
For gardeners, blackstrap molasses (unsulphered) is the best choice because it is the
most nutritionally valuable of the various types of molasses since it contains the
greatest concentration of sulfur, potash, iron, and micronutrients from the original cane
material. So it's not just the sugar content that makes molasses useful, but its trace
minerals. Molasses is also an excellent chelating agent, which means that it can help
convert some chemical nutrients into a form that's easily available for organisms and
plants to use. The blackstrap molasses (unsulphered) is a liquid molasses that can be
used alone, or as a component in both sprays and soil drenches, and can be an
important addition to organic fertilization program.
• 33% increase in fertilizer efficiency will save 10 million tons of plant nutrients per year,
resulting in a savings of $6 billion annually.
• Increases fruit and vegetable yields.
• Improves environmental impacts by reducing nitrogen fertilizers and promoting more
CO2-absorbing foliage growth on plants and trees.
• Reduces plant stress by applying phytochelates to foliage.
• Reduces waste from the sugar cane plant, which is converted into phytochelates.
• Increases profits for the sugar cane industry.
Press mud is a solid residue, obtained from sugarcane juice before crystallization of
sugar. Generally press mud is used as manure in India. It is a soft, spongy, lightweight,
amorphous, dark brown to black coloured material. It generally contains 60-85%
moisture (w/w); the chemical composition depends on cane variety, soil condition,
nutrients applied in the field, process of clarification adopted and other environmental
factors. Press mud from sugar factory typically contains 71% moisture, 9% ash and
20% volatile solids, with 74-75% organic matter on solids. Sugar molasses has methane
potential (i.e. CH4 per ton of raw material) of 230 m3.
Composition of press mud-
Characteristics of press mud-
Parameter Average value (%)
Volatile matter 76.6
In India, sugar industry with 400 sugar factories rank as the second major agro-industry
in the country. The cane-sugar industry has several co-products of immense potential
value. The co products include press mud (filter cake), molasses and spent wash. Out
of which press mud is produced during clarification of sugarcane juice. About 3.6 - 4%
of sugarcane crushed end up as press mud i.e. 36 - 40 kg of press mud is obtained
after 1 ton of cane crushing. Press mud is a soft, spongy, amorphous and dark brown
material containing sugar, fiber and coagulated colloids including cane wax,
albuminoids, inorganic salts and soil particles. It consists of 80 % water and 0.9 -1.5 %
sugar, organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulphur, coagulated
colloids and other materials in varying amounts.
The advantages of using sugarcane press mud for soil application is its low cost, slower
release of nutrients, presence of trace element, high water holding capacity and
mulching properties. Press mud like other organic materials affects the physical,
chemical and biological properties of soil. However, the disadvantages of press mud
are that due to its bulky nature and wax content it causes some problems. If press mud
is directly applied to soil as manure, the wax present might deteriorate the physical
properties such as permeability, aeration, soil structure and composition etc. and with
the passage of time the deterioration might get worsen. Also, if it is freshly applied to the
soil directly from the factory, it has the tendency to burn the plants as a result of the
rapid decomposition of the new sugarcane press mud which liberates heat and
ammonia in high concentrations. The aim of present study is to determine the water
holding capacity of soil by using wax containing press mud and dewaxed press mud
and its compost which would helps to give idea which press mud increases the water
holding capacity of soil. It also aims of this work were to study the physico-chemical
parameters of wax containing press mud and dewaxed press mud and its compost.
Extraction of wax from press mud will be helpful to enhance the quality of press mud as
% of nutrients present in press mud
S.no. parameter values
1. Organic carbon 34.5-42%
2. nitrogen 0.47-1.05%
3. phosphorus 2.31-3.01%
4. potassium 0.48-0.84%
5. Calcium 0.83-1.98%
6. magnesium 0.05-0.25%
7. sulphur 0.22-0.31%
8. copper 35-200mg/kg
9. zinc 47-215mg/kg
10. Manganese 163-625mg/kg
11. iron 250-9500mg/kg
12. pH 6.5-7.3
During the processing of sugarcane, cane juice contains a large number ofimpurities
which are in the form of precipitates and these impurities are separated using filtration
process. Both types of filtration processes i.e. batch type filter presses or rotary vacuum
filtration process or produces cake. SPM produced during extraction of sugar as an
impurity has multiple uses like as a fertilizer, animal feed and industrial use as a building
lime after calcinations process.
Composition of SPM varies with different industries by the following factors:
(a) Classification methods
(b) Variety of cane
(d) Mill efficiency
(e) Soil type
(f) Nutrients available
This SPM is produced at a rate of 7-9% of total weight of sugar cane in carbonation
industries and 3-5 % in sulfitation industries. Press mud is a rich source of organic
carbon, NPK and other micronutrients. Addition of organics improved soil organic
carbon and available NPK status and had no adverse effect on soil pH and EC. This
study indicated that through the application of 10 tonnes of bio compost or enriched
press mud or Acetobacter + phosphobacterium (each 10kg), 25% chemical fertilizers
could be saved without losing yield and quality besides improving soil fertility. Several
studies have been conducted on Press mud for its suitability to use in agriculture and for
Compost is prepared drom residues such as press mud and molasses obtained in large
amount during milling of sugarcane and is used as biofertilizer.
Preparation of Biofertilizer
Compost produced from biological wastes does not contain any chemicals unfavorable
to living soil. This organic fertilizer is also one of them which contain phosphate,
nitrogen solubilizing bacteria and decomposing fungi, which is co-friendly and protect
the plants from various soil borne diseases. Results of trial based production of
Compost at large scale is discussed. Different ratios of sugar press mud (SPM),
Molasses and Rock Phosphate was mixed, piled and transformed in to Compost
products in about 14-21 days. Single super phosphate (SSP) & Sulfur mud was also
added and investigated to increase the Phosphoric components of Compost to produce
a good quality of biofertilizer. In the end, granulation of this bio fertilizer was also
investigated at different temperatures using Rotary dryers to produce grains for the
ease of farmers.
Production of Compost fertilizer:
*Principles of composting process:
Composting is the controlled biological decomposition and conversion of solid organic
material into humus like substance called compost. Composting is the process of letting
nature transforms organic materials into a material with environmentally beneficial
applications. The process is aerobic, meaning it requires oxygen. The process uses
various microorganisms such as bacteria, actinomyces and fungi to break down the
organic compounds into simpler sub-stances. In natural surroundings, leaves and
branches that fall to the ground form a rich, moist layer of mulch that protects the roots
of plants and provides a home for nature’s most fundamental recyclers: worms, insects
and a host of microorganisms too small to see with the naked eye. Composting is a
viable process of treating solid waste for beneficial use and destroying pathogens,
diseases and undesirable weed seed. By properly managing air, moisture and nutrients,
the composting process can transform large quantities of organic material into compost
in a relatively short time.
*Basic raw material requirements for compost production:
Following raw materials are utilized for production of compost fertilizer from sugar
pressmud which are listed as below.
S.no. Raw material Fraction percentage
1 Sugar press mud 0.878 87.8
2 rock phosphate 0.095 9.5
3 molasses 0.005 0.5
4 SSP 0.02 2
5 Sulphur mud 0.002 0.2
1. Sugar press Mud:
Sugar press mud (SPM) is also termed as press mud cake or filter cake. During the
processing of sugarcane, cane juice contains a large number of impurities which are in
the form of precipitates and these impurities are separated using filtration process. Both
types of filtration processes i.e. batch type filter presses or rotary vacuum filtration
process or, produces cake. SPM produced during extraction of sugar as an impurity has
multiple uses like as a fertilizer, animal feed and industrial use as a building lime after
The process of Production of compost fertilizer is very simple process as described in
block diagram in figure:
Testing of Raw Materials:
Following tests for raw materials and products are carried out before processing:
1. Digestion unit:
The result was obtained in open air atmospheric conditions at a temperature of 30-35
0C. First the SPM, local rock phosphate, SSP and sulfur mud were mixed thoroughly
and piled of approximately 100-110 ft. in length above ground level, 3-4 ft. in width and
2-2.5 ft. high in semicircle shape. These piles were given time to be composited and to
complete digestion process for about 14-21 days. During piling, the mixture was mixed,
turned and watered after every three days to maintain moisture content of 50-60 %. A
turner was used for turning process to maintain uniform mixing.
2. Granulation Unit:
The compost mixture from the digestion unit is then sent to granulation unit. Here
molasses (0.5 % of total raw material) and water are sprayed before entering the dryer
for the formation of granules. A horizontal Rotary dryer is used to form granules at a
temperature of 240-250 0C.
3. Screening unit:
After granulation process it is sent to screening unit. Average size of the biofertilizer
should be of 5mm diameter for the ease of farmer and good quality granule. Oversize
and undersize granules are recycled again to dryer unit. This screening unit is same as
the screening process used for SSP screening. Product of required size is sent to
Packaging unit where it is packed in the bags through auto filling. And then finally
product is sent to distribution unit.
4. Quality assurance or testing of final compost product:
Final resultant compost contained; 25% of organic matter and amount of molasses
present is 0.5%.
1.) FAO ; (Alternative use of sugarcane and its by product in agro industries)
http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/s8850e/s8850e03.htm (accessed on 11/11/2015)
2.) Bhosale P.R., Chonde S.G., Nakade D.B. and Raut P.D; (May 2012);
Studies on Physico-Chemical Characteristics of Waxed and Dewaxed Pressmud
and its effect on Water Holding Capacity of Soil, ISCA Journal of Biological Sciences
; Vol. 1(1), 35-41, page no. 1,2,3.
http://www.isca.in/IJBS/Archive/v1i1/5.ISCA-JBS-2012-013.pdf (accessed on
3.) V. Rengaraj*1 and Mazher Sultana (Aug 2014) ; Standardization of the optimal ratio
of distillery spent wash to the pressmud windrows for effective and ecofriendly
compost; INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NOVEL TRENDS IN
PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES; ISSN: 2277 – 2782.
4.) Nagesh N. Patil, Sumit Jadhav, Sachin S. Ghorpade and Abhijeetkumar B. Sharma;
(Jan 2013) ISOLATION AND ENRICHMENT OF SUGAR PRESS MUD (SPM)
ADAPTED MICROORGANISM FOR PRODUCTION OF BIOFERTILIZER BY
USING SUGAR PRESS MUD ; International Journal of Advanced Biotechnology and
Research; ISSN 0976-2612, Online ISSN 2278–599X;Vol 4, Issue 1, 2013, pp 96-
http://bipublication.com/files/IJABR-V4I1-2013-14.pdf (accessed on 10/11/2015)
5.) Agriculture Project Fact sheet (Bioconversion of Sugarcane molasses)
6.) Sardar, Suneela; Ilyas, Suhaib Umer; Malik, Shahid Raza; Javaid, Kashif , February
2012, International Journal of Chemical & Environmental Engineering;Feb2012, Vol.
3 Issue 1, following p38 , Compost Fertilizer production from Sugar Press Mud
from-sugar-press-mud-spm (accessed on 13/11/2015)
7.) Milind Patil, Mohit Kavitkar, Ankush Borkar, Sanjay Amley; ISSN: 2321-8134
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS AND
TECHNOLOGY; COMPOST FERTILIZER PRODUCTION FROM SUGAR PRESS
http://www.ijfeat.org/papers/agnipankh41.pdf (accessed on 13/11/2015)