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Revista industrial y agrícola de Tucumán

versión On-line ISSN 1851-3018


SALAZAR, Romina A. et al. Water uses in sugarcane industry in Tucumán, R. Argentina. Rev. ind. agric. Tucumán [online]. 2021, vol.98, n.2, pp.37-45. ISSN 1851-3018.

Industrial water balance is an excellent tool to start the process of improving the use and reuse of water within the factory, since it allows diagnosing the current situation of the industry and detecting the points where to intervene more quickly to obtain a reduction in the catchment of water from sources outside the factory. For its implementation it is necessary to know the production diagram of the factory under study and to have surveys of the water and effluent circuits. In this work, a spreadsheet was developed that made it possible to determine the water uses of each sector of the sugar manufacturing process through the use of material and energy balances. As a result, a total use of fresh water entered or captured in the processing of a sugar mill in the province of 17.504 m3 /t sugarcane was obtained (it should be noted that this value is not the water factory consumption) and those points where the highest consumption uses were detected (barometric condensers of the sectors of evaporation and cooking, cooling of fermentation tanks and cooling of distillery condensers). The result obtained in the collection of fresh water reflects that the factory under study did not use the water resource efficiently. This tool also allowed the application of water recovery and reuse methodologies that allowed us to minimize the consumption of fresh water catchment flows that exist today. (the case that considered a 57.1% reuse index of flows from the barometric condensers of the evaporation and cooking sectors and those of the cooling of the condensers of the distillation sector, led to a reduction of water uptake from 16.804 to 6.804 m3 /t cane). The sugar scheme considered was proposed in stages, including obtaining ethanol and producing electricity for sale to the grid (cogeneration).

Palabras clave : water balance; reuse; survey.

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