An on-line cane monitoring system to measure the extraneous matter present in billet sugar cane : final report CSU001
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Extraneous matter (EM) in cane billets consists of two major types of material; dirt and trash. Dirt consists of primarily inorganic, rock derived material, while trash consists of primarily organic, non-productive sugar cane derived material such as leaves, tops, and root balls, Trash can also contain other non sugar cane derived organic matter such as weeds and other items included during the harvesting process.Dirt and trash have long been important issues in the sugar industry. Dirt leads to increased physical wear on harvesting and processing equipment, in particular the milling train and bagasse fired boilers. Once regarded as completely useless and burnt off in the field before harvest, trash is now regarded as valuable biomass for production of environmentally friendly energy. However, trash also causes inefficiencies in the milling process, and there is now much interest in trash separation processes.Monitoring is a necessary part of determining the efficiency of trash separation processes, and in determining dirt levels.The project investigated the use of cheap VIS/VNIR spectrometers to measure dirt levels and image analysis to measure trash.