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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVE FIBER QUALITY AND INDUSTRY PROFITABILITY THROUGH ENHANCED EFFICIENCIES IN COTTON GINNING

Location: Cotton Ginning Laboratory(Stoneville, MS)

Title: Seed cotton cleaning in Mid-South gins

Author
item Hardin, Robert

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 21, 2012
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Citation: Hardin IV, R.G. Seed cotton cleaning in Mid-South gins. Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) 2012 Annual International Meeting. Dallas, Texas, July 29 -August 1, 2012. Paper No. 12-1336886

Interpretive Summary: Foreign matter, primarily leaves and burrs from the cotton plant, must be removed from machine-harvested seed cotton before it can be ginned. Commercial gins use a variety of arrangements of machinery to accomplish this task. Two basic types of machinery are used for seed cotton cleaning. Cylinder-type cleaners use rotating cylinders with spikes to scrub the seed cotton across grid bars or rotating disks. The smaller particles, such as cotton plant leaves, will fall through gaps in the grid bars or rotating disks. In an extractor, the seed cotton is attached to a rotating drum with saw teeth. Heavier materials that do not attach to the saw, such as cotton burrs, are removed due to centrifugal force. Commercial gins have varying arrangements of this machinery and the performance of this equipment in commercial gins is not well documented, as most previous research was conducted under laboratory settings. Gin managers are interested in improved performance of seed cotton cleaners because international markets have preferred cleaner cotton and seed cotton cleaners cause less damage to fiber than lint cleaners. Seed cotton samples were collected from Mid-South gins in 2009, 2010, and 2011. These samples were collected from cotton modules before any seed cotton cleaning and just prior to ginning, after all seed cotton cleaning. These samples were analyzed by standard methods to determine moisture content and foreign matter content. Additional samples were collected in 2009 and 2010 at intermediate points in the process to measure the performance of individual machines in the seed cotton cleaning sequence. Seed cotton cleaning efficiency (the percent of foreign matter removed) was 62.1% in 2010, significantly higher than in 2009 (44.3%) or 2011 (46.9%). Modules in 2010 contained seed cotton with fewer motes (immature seeds), more leaf, and lower moisture content, likely resulting in higher cleaning efficiency. Leaf is easily removed by seed cotton cleaners, while motes are not. Past research has also shown that lower moisture content improves cleaning efficiency. Seed cotton cleaning efficiency varied widely between gins, even during the same year. Regression analysis indicated that the content of the seed cotton in the module had a larger effect on the content of the seed cotton after cleaning than the equipment used by the gin. However, additional cylinder cleaners reduced leaf content and additional extractors reduced burr content. More research is needed to recommend using additional or fewer seed cotton cleaners in particular situations.

Technical Abstract: The performance of seed cotton cleaning equipment in commercial gins is not well documented. Most research reporting cleaning efficiencies of this machinery was performed in the laboratory under optimal conditions, while commercial gins must often process cotton with high moisture or foreign matter content. Seed cotton samples were collected from Mid-South gins in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Seed cotton cleaning efficiency was 62.1% in 2010, significantly higher than in 2009 (44.3%) or 2011 (46.9%). Modules in 2010 contained seed cotton with fewer motes, more leaf, and lower moisture content, likely resulting in higher cleaning efficiency. Seed cotton cleaning efficiency varied widely between gins, even during the same year. Regression analysis indicated that the content of the seed cotton in the module had a larger effect on the content of the seed cotton after cleaning than the equipment used by the gin. However, additional cylinder cleaners reduced leaf content and additional extractors reduced hull content. More research is needed to recommend using additional or fewer seed cotton cleaners in particular situations.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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