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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Title: Mote cleaner system PM2.5 emission factors and rates for cotton gins: Method 201A combination PM10 and PM2.5 sizing cyclones

item Whitelock, Derek
item Buser, Michael -
item Boykin, J
item Holt, Gregory

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 21, 2013
Publication Date: December 30, 2013
Citation: Whitelock, D.P., Buser, M.D., Boykin Jr, J.C., Holt, G.A. 2013. Mote cleaner system PM2.5 emission factors and rates for cotton gins: Method 201A combination PM10 and PM2.5 sizing cyclones. Journal of Cotton Science. 17(4):457-467.

Interpretive Summary: In 2006, the US Environmental Protection Agency implemented a more stringent air quality standard for very fine dust smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. All cotton gins will eventually be impacted by this standard. The primary issue affecting the cotton industry across the country is that cotton gins may not be regulated fairly, because very little scientifically sound information is available on cotton gin emissions of this very fine dust. In response, seven cotton gins at locations across the Cotton Belt were sampled by the three USDA-ARS Cotton Ginning Laboratories and Oklahoma State University to determine the amount of very fine dust emitted while processing cotton. One of the seven gins had a mote cleaner system that was not combined with other major systems. It was found that the mote cleaner system at the gin sampled emitted on average 0.008 pounds of the fine dust for every 500-pound bale of cotton produced, which was about 5% of the total dust emitted from the system. This information provides previously unavailable estimates for fine dust emissions from cotton gins and, thus, will ensure that cotton gins are appropriately permitted and accounted for in state and federal regulations. Furthermore, this may allowing many gins to avoid installing additional dust control measures with substantially higher capital and operating costs that will impact the ginning cost to the farmer.

Technical Abstract: This manuscript is part of a series of manuscripts that detail a project to characterize cotton gin emissions from the standpoint of stack sampling. The impetus behind the project was the 2006 EPA implementation of a more stringent standard for particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) and the fact that there was very little available cotton gin PM2.5 emissions data. The objective for this study was the development of PM2.5 emission factors for cotton gin mote cleaner systems based on the EPA-approved stack sampling methodology, Other Test Method 27. The project plan included sampling seven cotton gins across the Cotton Belt. Key factors for selecting specific cotton gins included: 1) facility location (geographically diverse), 2) industry representative production capacity, 3) typical processing systems. and 4) equipped with properly designed and maintained 1D3D cyclones. Two of the seven gins had mote cleaner systems. The exhaust from one of the mote cleaner systems was combined with the module feeder dust system. In terms of capacity, the two gins were typical of the industry, averaging 35.1 and 47.1 bales/hr during testing for the stand-alone mote cleaner system and mote cleaner and module feeder dust system, respectively. Average measured PM2.5 and total particulate emission factors for the stand-alone mote cleaner system were 0.004 kg/bale (0.008 lb/bale) and 0.065 kg/bale (0.143 lb/bale). The ratio of PM2.5 to total particulate was 5.5%. Average measured PM2.5 emission factors for the mote cleaner system combined with the module feeder dust system was 0.022 kg/bale (0.050 lb/bale); no total particulate emission factor was reported because isokinetics were not met.

Last Modified: 4/15/2014
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