Molasses is a by-product of sugar refining through repeated crystallization of sugar obtained by crushing sugar cane. Molasses is sold both for human consumption, to be used in baking and in the brewing of ale, as also for industrial use. In India Molasses is used mainly in manufacture of industrial/ potable alcohol, yeast and cattle feed. Alcohol in turn is used to produce ethanol, rectified spirit and various value added chemicals.Ethanol is consumed by chemical industry and is also used in blending with petroleum to produce Ethanol Blended Petroleum (EBP).
The yield of molasses per ton of sugar cane crushed varies in the range of 4.5% and 5%. Molasses and industrial alcohol-based industries were decontrolled in 1993 and are now being controlled by respective state government policies. Nearly 90% of molasses produced is consumed by industrial alcohol manufacturers and remaining 10% for various other uses like potable liquor.