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“The sugar industry today is not only about sugar but also about the various by-products obtained during the processing of sugarcane. A typical mill gets about 10 tonnes of sugar from every 100 tonnes of sugarcane crushed. In addition, about 30 tonnes of bagasse and 4.5 tonnes of molasses are generated as by-products.”


Sugar is a crystalline food substance. Mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose are present in it. Sugar is mainly prepared from sugarcane. Brazil has the highest per capita sugar consumption in the world. India consumes the most sugar as a country. Sugar categories are based on the crystal size ranging from small, medium, and large. Uttar Pradesh Produced 101.98 lakh tonnes of sugar in season 2021-2022.

Bagasse refers to the dry residue left after the juice is extracted from the Sugarcane. It is a great renewable source of energy. One of the key uses of bagasse is to produce electricity. It has been used in several countries in the sugar mill itself and is seen as a viable option. It is even stored and used to generate electricity throughout the year. However, storage poses a challenge. Different methods of storage are being tried and tested.  Bagasse also serves as a good raw material for producing paper. It serves as an alternative to wood pulp. Bagasse is also used to produce particleboard which is also known as chipboard. Furfural is also produced, which is a flammable chemical substance. It can also produce methane gas. In addition to all this, it is also used as cattle feed. In places, efforts are being made to make packaging material out of bagasse.

UPSMA bagasses

Molasses is one of the most important by-products of sugar production from Sugarcane. In fact, the importance of the production of ethanol has taken the center stage and there are discussions to divert the entire production of Sugarcane to produce Molasses so that it can be processed to produce ethanol. Ethanol is seen as a great fuel and is blended with petroleum. The percentage of ethanol in petrol is projected to increase in the coming years. Molasses refers to the effluent produced after the continuous crystallization process. It is the last syrup left after all the sucrose has been obtained. Molasses can also be used to produce acetic acid, yeast, ethanol, and Rum.

Ethanol is another co-product of bagasse. With every ton of molasses, 220 liters of ethanol can be produced.  To reduce vehicle emissions and promote environment-friendly fuels, the Government established the Ethanol Blending Petrol (EBP) program. The mixing of ethanol (up to 10%) with petrol is mandatory in India but now Government is ready to meet the target of 20% ethanol blending by 2025. Today Uttar Pradesh has become the second-largest ethanol supplier state in India. The ethanol demand which was 370 crore liters in 2017-2021 is estimated to be 1350 crore liters in 2022-2025, in which the sugar industry will contribute more than half. In the current season 2022-23 (Dec- 22 to Oct 23), OMC offered for supply of 952850 kilolitres of ethanol from UP. The sugar mills are capable of production of over 200 Crore litres of ethanol.

UPSMA Ethanol
UPSMA Filter Mud

Filter mud refers to the impurities which are removed through filtration of the juice. This forms cakes of mud and efforts are being made to identify the most rewarding usage of it. Currently, it is being used to produce fertilizer as it contains nitrogen. Refined wax can also be used as it contains fatty acids and lipids. It is also used as cattle feed.

Sugar mills could earlier produce and sell only 100 kg of sugar per ton of sugarcane processed but today they can generate additional business by selling 100 units of electricity and 9.9 liters of ethanol. This transformation from only sugar producing to an integrated sugarcane processing industry is just a decade old. Sugar mills use bagasse to produce steam and electricity and supply the surplus power as green energy to the state grid. Production from about 120 units (kilowatt-hours) to 150 units is possible from one ton of sugarcane (300 kg bagasse or 600 kg steam). After adjusting for 25 units of in-process consumption by the mill and 10 percent (12-15 units) of auxiliary consumption in the boiler and turbo generator, between 85 and 110 units of electricity per tonne of cane can be exported to the grid.

UPSMA_Power Electricity