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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENHANCING QUALITY, UTILITY, SUSTAINABILITY, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF COTTON AND ITS BYPRODUCTS THROUGH IMPROVEMENT IN HARVEST/GIN PROCESSING

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

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

Authors
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. Battery condenser 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):402-413.

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. Six of the seven gins were equipped with battery condenser systems. It was found that the battery condenser systems at the gins sampled emitted on average 0.008 pounds of the fine dust for every 500-pound bale of cotton produced, which was about 10% 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 and ambient 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 1st stage seed-cotton cleaning 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. Six of the seven gins were equipped with battery condensers with cyclones on the system exhausts. In terms of capacity, the six gins were typical of the industry, averaging 30.9 bales/hr during testing. Average measured PM2.5 emission factor based on the six tests (15 total test runs) was 0.004 kg/bale (0.008 lb/bale). The project emission factors for PM10 and total particulate were 0.012 kg/bale (0.026 lb/bale) and 0.037 kg/bale (0.081 lb/bale), respectively. The PM2.5 emission rate from test averages ranged from 0.04 to 0.14 kg/hr (0.10 to 0.30 lb/hr). The ratios of PM2.5 to total particulate, PM2.5 to PM10, and PM10 to total particulate were 10.0, 30.9, and 32.3%, respectively.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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