Preliminary plant design and economics for the production of hecogenicacetate from sisal juice

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University of Dar es Salaam
A hecogenin acetate plant with a production capacity of 70kg per day and a working rate of 300 days per year is proposed. In this design the authors have carried out a preliminary plant design and an economic evaluation of the whole project with a view of utilizing as much as possible the locally available raw materials. From the literature survey and information obtained from already existing hecogenin concentrate in the country it is evident that hecogenin acetate can best be obtained by the frothing acid hydrolysis method. Because of the advantages associated with it (clause 2,4) this method has been adopted in this project. Due to negligible pollution problems associated with this industry however an effluents treatment plant has not been included. The total capital investment involved is estimated at Tshs. 48.4 million. The sales price per kilogramme of the product has been estimated basing on total product cost at Tshs. 22492. This gives a scales revenue of Tshs. 473 million during the first year of operation against a total production cost of Tshs. 458 million. A profitability analysis’s has shown the break-even and shut down point to occur at 72% and 56% plant capacities respectively. Rates of return on investment before and after income tax are 46.8% and 24.9%. The payback period based on the total capital investment is only 33 years. With the above results this venture indicates that it may be economically viable and in view of the ease with which the raw materials can be obtained within the country it is worthwhile undertaking. The authors therefore strongly recommend that a detailed design be carried out by the concerned Government Authorities as soon as possible. This will make the country utilize her sisal potentials more profitably.
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Sisal hemp, Costs, Hecogenin acetate
Mziray, E. D. J (1981) Preliminary plant design and economics for the production of hecogenicacetate from sisal juice, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (