Date of Award

1986

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Abstract

A study was undertaken to evaluate new methods for rapid estimation of sugar, fiber, and moisture contents as well as the biomass of sugarcane. The NIR method can analyze the samples for sugar, moisture, fiber, and Pol values in less than one minute. The microwave method can reduce the time necessary to perform sugar and moisture analysis using the press method from 48 hours to a few minutes. Gamma ray transmission can be used to estimate crop yield in the field, and NMR can be used to measure the moisture content of whole stalks of sugarcane if its accuracy is improved. Considerable time can be saved if one of these methods is used to analyze sugarcane samples for quality. Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy was applied to estimate Pol as a percent of juice, and fiber, sugar, and moisture content as a percent of cane from shredded sugarcane samples. The results from this analysis were not statistically different (p > 0.05) from the standard press method commonly used. The determination coefficient values of the regression lines for the calculated values using NIR on the measured values were 0.94 for fiber, 0.98 for Pol, 0.98 for moisture, and 0.99 for sugar. A household microwave oven was used to rapidly evaluate the moisture content of shredded sugarcane samples. There was no significant difference between the microwave, heated air oven, and the standard press methods (p > 0.05). The determination coefficient of the regression line of the calculated sugar content using the standard and the microwave oven values was 0.99. Gamma ray transmission was used to evaluate the linear attenuation coefficient of sugarcane stalks. The total mass attenuation coefficient was calculated from the linear attenuation coefficient. The mass for the scan section as well as for a portion of a stalk was calculated and there was no significant difference between the calculated values and the measured values (p > 0.05). The determination coefficients of the regression lines of the measured values using gamma ray and the observed values for mass values were 0.89 for scan section, and 0.86 for portion of the stalk. NMR was used to evaluate moisture content of whole stalks of sugarcane. Two amplitudes were taken from the Free Induction Decay curve. The amplitude ratio was correlated to the moisture content in the sample. The value of the correlation coefficient obtained was 0.82. It was also found that the magnet inhomogeneity needs to be controlled in order to obtain more accurate results.

Pages

238

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