The government asks sugar factories to use only C-heavy molasses for alcohol production 

The aim is to encourage sugar factories to switch to heavy C molasses in ethanol, which will increase sugar production, and the government has also ordered that sugar factories with two units of raw material must use one raw material each and continue at least for at least 20 days before switching to the other raw material.  Following the complete ban on the production of rectified alcohol (RS) / extra neutral alcohol (ENA) from sugarcane juice and B-heavy molasses, the Ministry of Food  has published revised guidelines for the production of ethanol and alcohol during the  sugar season 2023-24 (October- September). According to the guidelines: “When both  processing lines operate simultaneously with different raw materials, the receiving, storage and denaturation/removal tanks must be separate per unit and must not communicate with each other.”  

  Rider in storage bins 

  In addition, the ministry noted that switching from one raw material to another can only be allowed if a certain food has been used for at least 20 days, and the state excise or other relevant authorities must be notified of this at least one week. in advance. Ethanol is produced from various raw materials such as C-heavy molasses (CHM), B-heavy molasses (BHM), cane juice/sugar syrup/sugar, FCI plus rice  (currently not allowed) and spoiled food such as broken rice and corn.  The government  said that if more than one ethanol processing line is available in the same unit, they can use the same amount of different raw materials in parallel for these processing lines without interconnecting the processing lines, as long as the data of the different processing lines. “Storage containers/silos for each type of raw material must be separate and clearly marked. Ethanol produced through various routes must be certified by the Excise Department of the concerned State  or any agency designated by the State/State Government and must clearly indicate the type of grain used”.

 Leaning towards BHM

   The guidelines also stated that the quality of  ethanol produced by any method should meet the desired standards of IS 15464 (2022). “Anhydrous ethanol for use in automotive fuels or according to OMC requirements. The ethanol content in volume percentage must not be less than 99.6 at 15.6 °C according to the OMCS procurement document”, It further says that the Excise Officer or any other authority authorized by the State Government shall leave the supply connections  of other raw materials open and seal the flanges. This process must be ensured during the transition from one raw material to another. PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras should also be installed to indicate failure of non-working power lines. “In sugar factories, BHM was preferred over CHM because CHM produces 25 percent less ethanol. CHM has the lowest sucrose content and more sugar is produced when factories prefer BHM as a by-product. As the demand for RS/ENA increases and BHM is banned from making these spirits, many mills are forced to opt for CHM, said a distillery manager of a major sugar company.

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