Use of geothermal heat for sugar refining : final report for period October 1, 1976 - May 31, 1977

Pearson, Russell O.
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TRW Systems and Energy
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The objective of this study was to assess the economic and technical feasibility of applying low grade geothermal heat (<300 F temperature) in the beet sugar refining industry for both new factory construction and retrofit conversion of existing factories. The representative Holly Sugar factory at Brawley, California was utilized as a baseline primarily because of its centralized location with respect to the known and partially developed geothermal anomalies at Brawley, East Mesa and Heber. Nominal values for the key parameters of the sugar refining process and typical values for the geothermal fluid parameters representative of geothermal resources in areas of existing or potential future sugar factories were defined, promising points of application were identified and conceptual designs synthesized for introducing the geothermal heat into the process. The design approaches were then quantified with capital, operating and maintenance costs and comparative economic evaluations were made with other fuels projected to 1995. In parallel with the detailed study of process conversion to geothermal heat, the existing pattern and potential growth of the sugar refining industry was assessed to estimate the potential market for new factory construction at suitable areas as well as the potential for retrofit conversion of existing factories. The environmental impact of other geothermal application concepts was also assess and expected technological or industry/government policy changes which might affect the potential for conversion to geothermal heat were identified and evaluated. Emphasis was placed on achieving results that would stimulate commercial utilization of geothermal heat for beet sugar refining and related processes. Major areas of concern were solicited from beet sugar industry representatives and plans were formulated for demonstration technology developments to resolve engineering and economic uncertainties identified in the process conversion analyses and the expressed concerns of industry. The demonstration critical components and subscale process equipment are defined with supporting test hardware required for testing at the ERDA East Mesa Geothermal Component Test Facility located approximately 18 miles from the Holly Sugar factory at Brawley.
"Under contract E(04-3)-1317." "Prepared for the Energy Research and Development Administration Division of Geothermal Energy
direct use, drying, geothermal uses, cascaded use, sugar, Puna, Kilauea
Pearson RO. 1977. Use of geothermal heat for sugar refining: final report for period October 1, 1976 - May 31, 1977. Redondo Beach (CA): TRW Systems and Energy.
190 pages
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