ARS researchers have developed a machine that can clean either cotton or flax without damaging the fibers. Typically, cotton is cleaned or ginned using several machines. Most U.S. cotton is processed through the same gin machine sequence, which includes two spiked-tooth cleaners and two channel saw-type cleaners, one gin stand and two saw-type lint cleaners (SLCs). The SLC is the most effective, yet most damaging cleaning machine in the gin. The SLC also reduces the quantity of cotton available for marketing. With this invention, fiber damage can be reduced 30 percent while cleaning efficiency is the same as with two SLCs. Fiber loss can be reduced 50 percent, or 10 pounds per cotton bale. For 20 million bales with cotton at 70 cents per pound, this could yield at least $140,000,000 annually, and with less fiber damage to bales. In addition, this invention is also a single machine that replaces several machines that are currently used to separate flax fiber from the stalk. It is very effective in removing flax fiber from the stalk, which can be used for composites as well as textile applications. The separated flax shive can be used in making wood products. Currently, the stalk from seed flax is left in the field as biomass after the seed are removed. With this invention, this biomass can now be separated and used in several applications. This machine recovers 75 percent of the flax fiber with virtually no damage. Using this invention could potentially lead to a new U.S. industry.
Please refer to USPN 6,539,585 (Docket #0062.00), "Device to Separate Contaminants from Cotton and Flax," which issued on April 1, 2003. Patent Number 6,615,454 (Docket #0114.01), "Enhanced Separation of Contaminants from Fibers such as Cotton, Kenaf and Flax," issued September 9, 2003, is similar to this technology.
Foreign rights are not available.
William S. Anthony
Cotton Ginning Research
Stoneville, MS 38776-0256
(662) 686-3094 / Fax: (662) 686-5483