Brix measurement in the crystallizer

The ability to monitor and control various parts of the sugar production process is key to producing high quality products. In this process, there are several critical process points where reproducible and accurate measurements are required. Among them are continuous vacuum pans (crystallization), evaporator pans and milk of lime. Using fourth generation state-of-the-art microwave measurement technology, Berthold‘s MicroPolar Brix measurement systems can do the job online and in real time. Trends can be recognized and process actions can be taken insuring high quality and cost efficient production.

Highly accurate and reproducible Brix and concentration measurements

The thick juice is heated in the crystallization process under vacuum conditions. When a certain concentration is reached, the juice is seeded with tiny sugar crystals to promote the growth of uniform crystals. With the microwave measuring systems from Berthold, the juice concentration (°Brix) is monitored throughout the crystallization process, and a precise determination of the seeding point can be determined. Controlling the boiling process in vacuum pans is one of the most important and critical activities in the sugar production process. High accuracy is required to determine the seeding point to insure proper crystal structure and size of the product.

The Berthold LB 565 MicroPolar Brix is the ideal solution for providing a highly accurate and reproducible measurement. The brix measuring systems are applied in all crystallization stages. Due to its robustness and superior sensor flushing, the measuring systems have proven time and time again that they work reliably and trouble-free even in continuous operating conditions. Even after the final crystallization stage, the °Brix concentration of the massecuite can still be reliably measured at the outlet pipe, after the product has passed through the pump.

Measuring principle and function

Microwaves penetrate the material to be measured. The dielectric constant value of the material indicates the influence on the microwaves. The dielectric constant value of water is 20 times larger compared to that of other materials. This results in a strong interaction of the microwaves with water, which we then measure as attenuation and phase shift.

Consequently, the water content can be determined very accurately. The multi-frequency technology used by Berthold guarantees very stable and reliable measurements, which remain unaffected by interfering reflections or resonances. The integrated reference line ensures reliable compensation of ambient influences. The MicroPolar works with very low microwave power (approx. 0.1 mW) which means that the material being measured is not heated or altered in any way.

These are the advantages of Berthold’s °Brix and concentration measurements:

  • Very precise determination of the seeding point
  • Uniform sugar crystals and improved quality
  • Reliable control during entire crystallization process
    Continuous production, without process downtime
  • Pt100 for temperature compensation to achieve accurate measurements
  • Integrated reference line for disturbance-free measurement
  • Optional flushing of probe with low water consumption

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