A feasibility study on the manufacture of citric acid from blackstrap molasses

Date of Publication


Document Type

Bachelor's Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Subject Categories

Chemical Engineering


Gokongwei College of Engineering


Chemical Engineering


Awarded as best thesis, 1975

Thesis Adviser

Paulino Tan



Location: Head Office: Anayan, Pili, Camarines Sur Plant Site: Anayan, Pili, Camarines Sur.

Project Description. Citric Acid, Incorporated, a subsidiary of the Bicol Development Company, will employ 97 persons in the manufacture of citric acid. This will be used by pharmaceutical firms, food processing companies and companies engaged in the production of beverages as part of their final products. At present, these companies import their citric acid.

Although the company's market is located within the Philippines, provisions for expansion have been made to accommodate any exportation of the acid. The inclusion of citric acid in the Fifth Export Priorities Plan should help the company in this aspect.

To produce the acid, the company will employ the submerged fermentation process developed in Japan. The process uses untreated blackstrap molasses as the principal raw material and a local penicillium mold as the fermenting agent.

The plants annual rated capacity of 1,440,000 pounds will require a capital investment of P14,000,000. Of this, P8,000,000 will be supplied by the proponents of the project the remaining amount will be obtained through a long-term loan. Local financing will be availed of for this purpose.

Most of the equipment that will be used will be locally fabricated. Only three major pieces of equipment will be imported. Construction and installation of the equipment will be handled by local contractors. The plant is expected to start operations by the end of 1977.

General Conclusion. The project is not feasible. With a payout period of over 5 years, with or without BOI incentives, and an average rate of return of less than 10% in both cases, capital can be more profitably utilized in other ventures.

Recommendations. 1. Study the export market of citric acid. 2. See if it is possible to decrease the amount of calcium carbonate required by the process. 3. Design a process to separate the mycelia from the gypsum and determine the market potential of these 2 by-products. 4. Find out if the penicillium mold can grow if the fermenting mixture is placed in shallow aluminum trays.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

[171] leaves ; 28 cm.


Citric acid; Molasses

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