Title: Seed Cotton Moisture Conditioning Using An Atomizing Nozzle in the Conveyer-Distributor Authors
Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 2006
Publication Date: November 1, 2006
Citation: Byler, R.K., Boykin Jr, J.C. 2006. Seed cotton moisture conditioning using an atomizing nozzle in the conveyer-distributor. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. Vol. 22(6): 819-826. Interpretive Summary: Gins should process cotton with lint moisture content in the range 6 to 7% but data shows that they often process cotton in the range 3 to 5% which often causes fiber breakage. When cotton is harvested during dry fall weather the fiber will naturally be drier than recommended for processing. A gin can dry the seed cotton when it is too wet but currently few gins can increase the moisture content when it is too dry. This research examined the possiblity of spraying water with an atomizing nozzle onto the seed cotton before ginning as well as adding moisture by the use of humid air. The moisture restoration techniques added measurable amounts of moisture to the lint but didn't increase the lint moisture content as much as desired and the lint was still drier than recommended. The moisture addition decreased the efficiency of the cleaning and the trash levels were slightly higher with moisture restoration. However, the fiber length measurements showed that the quality of the ginned lint was significantly improved by the moisture restoration. If techniques similar to those studied could be installed in commercial gins the quality of the lint produced, especially the fiber length and short fiber content of the cotton, would be significantly improved.
Technical Abstract: Seed cotton is often drier than optimum for ginning when it arrives at the gin plant and ginning with the lint too dry results in lower fiber quality. In this study a total of 78 bales of cotton were ginned with various moisture treatments, including spraying water on seed cotton before the gin stand. The lint moisture content (mc) of samples obtained before the lint cleaner varied from 3.7 to 6.9%, wet basis due to the combination of all treatments. Decreased drying resulted in increased trash levels in the lint, otherwise, the lint properties were affected by the fiber mc of samples obtained before the lint cleaner but were independent of the method of achieving that mc. Ginning with lint at higher mc improved the HVI length and strength as well as all of the AFIS fiber length measurements. The AFIS short fiber content calculated by weight of samples taken after lint cleaning was improved by about 6% for each percentage point increase in lint mc of samples taken before the lint cleaner.