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The Tilby Separation System incorporates proprietary technological innovation and know-how to achieve reliable and sustainable processing operations that generate a very profitable and diverse range of value-added co-products. While the Tilby Separation System can process a wide range of feedstocks, this overview focuses on sugarcane.


The heart of the system is the separator  itself. It is the enabling technology that makes everything else possible. The separate and distinct outputs flowing from separated sugarcane and similar feedstocks bear no resemblance to the crushed residue (bagasse) from conventional cane milling. The separated outputs are new and distinct, therefore the following terminology was developed to describe them:

COMRIND: Is the hard, wood like outer section of the stalk that consists of:

  • All of the structural fiber.

  • Approximately 18% of the total weight of cane.

COMFITH: Is the soft pithy interior of the stalk that consists of:

  • The softer inner core fiber containing all of the high purity sugar bearing juice.

  • On average 92% of the pith cells are fractured in the separation process.

  • Averages 80% of the total weight of cane before comflo extraction and 17% after comflo extraction.

COMFLO: Is the sugar juice extracted from the comfith that consists of:

  • All of the high purity juice efficiently extracted from the comfith fiber.

  • None of the impurities associated with crushed cane juice.

  • Averages 63% of the total weight of cane.

DERMAX: Is the thin outer epidermal layer of the stalk that consists of:

  • All of the abrasive mill wearing silica.

  • Dirt, color, that contribute to the formation of molasses.

  • All of the natural wax.

  • All of the valuable bioactive compounds.

  • Averages 2% of the total weight of cane.










The Tilby Separation System includes all systems necessary to receive and process sugarcane and similar feedstocks. Systems include billeting, detrashing, metering, separation, juice extraction and a wide range of value-added downstream co-product processes.  Tilby Technologies has Separation Systems capable of processing from 10 MTCH to 50 MTCH. Throughputs higher than 50 MTCH are achieved using multiple separators set up in tandem.


A Brief Process Overview

  • Pre-billeted cane is off-loaded from field delivery containers to our cane receiving system that in turn meters the cane into a live bottom trough. With the addition of certain Tilby equipment, the Separation System can receive, clean, billet and process whole cane if necessary.​


  • Billets are then metered from the trough and deposited at a controlled rate into our billet detrasher and rinse unit. Effective cleaning equipment is but one advantage of the Tilby System. The abrasive leaf trash, dirt and other extraneous material processed by most conventional sugar mills results in significant losses in the form of wear and tear to equipment, contamination of the juice stream, and reduced thru-puts.​


  • Leaf trash is arrested and passed through an optional chafer for transfer by pneumatic or belt conveyor to disposal, or for further  processing. Cleaned billets are then transported to the live bottom billet bin.​


  • The billet mass in the live bottom billet bin is moved against a variable speed billet bucket conveyor that meters the billets onto the billet metering, alignment and acceleration unit.


  • Billets from each channel of the metering, alignment and acceleration unit are fed vertically into the separator. The thru-put capability of an individual separator is determined by conveyor speed and the number of channels from which it is capable of receiving billeted cane.


  • ​The splitter station will accurately center and split all billets presented to it, regardless of billet size or shape.​


  • After splitting, the half billets are guided to the depithing stations that remove the pithy, sugar bearing center portion of the billet (comfith fiber), without damaging the structural integrity of the hard outer rind (comrind fiber).​


  • The clean comfith fiber flow is then conveyed to the optional juice extraction and dewatering system. The unique properties of the comfith fiber allow superior extraction rates while yielding a high purity juice. With the hard rind (comrind) fiber removed, and almost all of the juice bearing cells fractured in the separation process, juice extraction from the comfith fiber is a far cleaner and less energy intensive process than that of conventional milling. In addition, water consumption is reduced by at least 50% when compared with conventional cane crushing.​


  • The separated comrind fiber segments proceed to the dermax removal station. Here dermax fiber is mechanically removed from the comrind fiber segments. The separated dermax and comrind fibers are then fed to a shaker/screener.


  • The comrind fiber segments then pass through the comrind pinch roll and rinse unit. The comrind fiber segments are now ready for further value-added co-product processing.​


  • Dermax fiber is now in a form that is ideal for efficient and economic extraction of the valuable cane wax and bio-active compounds. All of the available cane wax and bioactives are found in the dermax component making up 2% to 6% of the total weight of cane.

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