Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/219

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decade, which have been important agencies in making it possible to manufacture beet-sugar at a profit. The method of extracting the sugar from the beet-root is entirely unlike the one usually-employed in manufacturing sugar from the cane-plant, but the principle of the former is equally applicable to the latter, and will probably be generally adopted when the cane-sugar manufacturer can afford to replace his old mechanical system with rotary diffusion batteries.

The beet-roots are dumped, by the farmers, into large bins about nine hundred feet long, capable of holding five thousand tons of beets, from which they are dropped by adjustable traps into a concrete ditch or canal, underneath the beet-house. This canal is provided with descents of brickwork or metal gutters, through which the roots are borne by the, rushing water into the wash-house, which constitutes the first stage of the factory. In the wash-house is a large screw or raising wheel arrangement, by which the beets are emptied into a hopper on the second floor.

PSM V35 D219 The beet cutter.jpg

Fig. 5.—The Beet-Cutter.

from which they pass into a large, drum-shaped iron cylinder, called the wash-barrel, where the roots are thoroughly cleaned. The washing of the beet is a. very important operation in the manufacture of the sugar, for the roots are thus freed from mold, small stones, and other kinds of dirt attaching to them, which not only saves the machinery employed in the actual preparation of the beets from injury, but keeps the sugar ultimately obtained free