If double-bottomed defecators are used in sufficient number to allow an hour and a half to two hours for making each defecation, and if they are of a size which permits any one of them to be filled up by the cane-mill with juice in ten to twelve minutes, they will make as perfect a defecation as is obtainable by any known system; but their employment involves the expenditure of much high-pressure steam (as exhaust steam will not heat the juice quickly enough through the small surface of the hemispherical inner bottom), and also the use of filter presses for treating the scums. A great deal of skilled superintendence is also required, and first cost is comparatively large.
In Java and Mauritius, where very clean canes are grown, double-bottomed defecators are generally used, and to them, perhaps as much as to the quality of the canes, may be attributed the very strong, fine sugars made in those islands.
A modification of the system of double-bottom defecators has lately been introduced with considerable success in San Domingo and in Cuba, by which a continuous and steady discharge of clear defecated juice is obtained on the one hand, and on the other a comparatively hard dry cake of scum or cachaza, and without the use of filter presses.
To make this apparatus more perfectly automatic, an arrangement for continually adding to and mixing with the juice the proper proportion of milk of lime has been adapted to it; and although it may be objected that once the proportion has been determined no allowance is made for the variation in the quality of the juice coming from the mill owing to the variations that may occur in the canes fed into the mills, it is obviously as easy to vary the proportion with the automatic arrangement from time to time as it is to vary in each separate direction, if the man in charge will take the trouble to do so, which he very seldom does with the ordinary defecators, satisfying himself with testing the juice once or twice in a watch.
The juice is then drawn off and pumped up to one of the double-bottomed defecators and redefecated, or, where juice-heaters have been used instead of defecators, the scums from the separators or subsiders are heated and forced through filter presses, the juice expressed going to the evaporators and the scum cakes formed in the filter presses to the fields as manure.
With ordinary care on the part of the men in charge Hatton defecators will work continuously for several days and nights, and the number required to deal with a given volume of juice is half the number of ordinary defecators of equal capacity which would do the same work; for it must be borne in mind that an ordinary double-bottomed defecator takes two hours to deliver its charge and be in readiness to receive a fresh charge, i.e.
Apart from increased yield in sugar of good quality, we may sum up the advantages procurable from the use of Hatton defecators as follows: cold liming; heating gently to the temperature required to coagulate the albumen and not beyond it, whereby disturbance would ensue; the continuous separation of the scums; the gradual drying of the scums so as to make them ready for the fields, without carrying away juice or requiring treatment in filter presses; and the continuous supply of hot defecated juice to the evaporators, without the use of subsiding tanks or eliminators; and, finally, the saving in expenditure on plant, such as filter presses, &c., and wages.