Bagasse is Sugarcane residue left after extracting the juice.
For each 10 tonnes of sugarcane crushed, a sugar factory produces nearly 3 tonnes of wet bagasse. The wet bagasse typically contain 40 to 50% moisture. For paper and pulp production, it is normally stored wet in order to assist in removal of the short pith fibres, which impede the papermaking process, as well as to remove any remaining sugar.
A typical chemical analysis of bagasse might be (on a washed and dried basis)
- Cellulose 45-55%
- Hemicellulose 20-25%
- Lignin 18-24%
- Ash 1-4%
- Waxes <1%
Bagasse Fiber Length: 1.0-1.7 mm
Bagasse Fiber Width: 20 micron
Bagasse is an extremely inhomogeneous material comprising around 30-40% of "pith" fibre, which is derived from the core of the plant and is mainly parenchyma material, and "bast", "rind", or "stem" fibre, which comprises the balance and is largely derived from sclerenchyma material. These properties make bagasse particularly problematic for paper manufacture.
- Sugarcane Bagasse Paper versus Wheat Straw Paper by Omar Omari, Marcus Cheung, Robert Chen, Hugo Chen