Solid matter in suspension varies so slightly with the temperature that practically it remains constant, the hot liquor rises to the top of the vessel, and the scums 'and particles of solid matter in suspension separate themselves from it and fall to the bottom.
The scums then settle down to the bottom of the cone, whence they are run off to the scum tank.
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.
When a sufficient number are not available for a two hours' defecation, it is the practice in some factories to skim off the scums that rise to the top, and then boil up the juice for a few minutes and skim again, and, after repeating the operation once or twice, to run off the juice to separators or subsiders of any of the kinds previously described.
The scums forming on the top of the continuous defecator become so hard and dry that they have to be removed from time to time with a specially constructed instrument like a flat spade with three flat prongs in front.
These scums are not worth passing through the filter presses, and are sent to the fields direct as manure.
The scums separated from the juice by ordinary defecation entangle and carry away with them a certain amount of the juice with its contained saccharine.
In some factories they are collected in suitable tanks, and steam is blown into them, which further coagulates the albuminous par Scums. tides.
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.
Metalliferous products containing silver arise in many operations; the chief products which may yield silver economically are copper and lead mattes, burnt argentiferous pyrites and certain drosses and scums. Argentiferous ores consist of silver-bearing base-metal minerals and gangue.
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.