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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Cotton Ginning Research

2010 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
There are four main objectives for this study: 1) Develop PM2.5 emission factors and verify current PM10 emission factors for cotton gins across the Cotton Belt through stack sampling at gins in the West, Texas, MidSouth, and Southeast. 2) Collect field data to further quantify PM10 and PM2.5 EPA federal reference method stack and ambient sampler errors. 3) Develop point source and ambient total suspended particulate (TSP), PM10, and PM2.5 data sets that can be used in the design, development, and evaluation of current and future air quality models used for low-level agricultural sources. 4) Characterize the particulate matter emitted from cotton gins across the Cotton Belt in terms of particle size distribution, particle density, and particle shape.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
The project plan is to evaluate six sites over the 2008 to 2010 ginning seasons, including a New Mexico gin, two California gins, a Texas gin, a Missouri gin, and a North Carolina gin. Selected gins should have similar abatement technologies (1D-3D cyclones with 2D-2D inlets on all exhausts) and process streams similar to the following: Module feeder or suction, No. 1 pre-cleaning, No. 2 pre-cleaning, overflow, No.1 lint cleaning, No. 2 lint cleaning, mote fan, mote trash fan, battery condenser, and master trash. Stack sampling will adhere to EPA protocols and will be performed by a certified stack sampling company under the supervision of the investigators. Stack sampling methods will include CTM-039, the EPA method for measuring PM2.5 stack emissions; Method 201, a standard EPA method for measuring PM10 stack emissions; and Method 5, a standard EPA method for measuring TSP stack emissions. Ambient air sampling will coincide with the stack sampling and will be conducted by USDA-ARS personnel and collaborators. The ambient sampling will follow USDA-ARS Air Quality Laboratory protocol. Samples of gin trash and other potential sources of ambient particulates (i.e., gin yard material) will be collected for analysis as particulate emissions parent material. Laboratory analyses, gravimetric and particle size analysis, and particle shape analysis will be conducted. All raw data will be compiled and organized for outside review. Results will be compiled in a report to the cotton ginners associations and project cooperators. The research will also be documented in the form of a series of manuscripts in peer reviewed technical journals to further disseminate the information for wider acceptance by the regulatory agencies and the scientific community.

3. Progress Report
Work on this project in FY2010 fell mainly into three categories: 1) Planning and Preparation, 2) Sampling, and 3) Sample Analyses. The first sampling campaigns in New Mexico and South Texas were completed in FY2009. All samples for the NM gin (approximately 1800) and for the South TX gin (approximately 1400) were taken to the USDA-ARS AQL in Lubbock, TX, and analyses were begun and continued into FY2010. Although processing the samples was a high priority, the primary focus was to prepare for and sample the two California gins in October and then prepare for the two gins to be sampled Fall 2010. The planning and preparation process for the sampling campaigns progressed in several different areas. The PIs made site evaluations at the gins to assess each site's potential and to lay out the pre-developed sampler arrays using GPS units. While on site, measurements and adjustments to the airflow for each gin system to be sampled were made to ensure that they were operating according to regulations. Since the gins used their gin yard for module storage, an additional site visit to those gins was required prior to the ginning season to bury electrical lines for the samplers. The cyclone extensions with sampling ports were specified and ordered for each gin. Also, the stack sampling and ambient sampling equipment, used during previous sampling campaigns, was cleaned, calibrated, and prepared for the upcoming sampling campaigns. Actual sampling was long and arduous for the USDA sampling crew. In October 2009, thirteen unique systems were source sampled at each of the California gins. Ambient sampling occurred over 14 days (approximately 24 hours per day). Between source and ambient sampling, over 2600 samples were collected at the two gins. The USDA crew was on site at the California gins for 4 and a half weeks. Nine systems were sampled at a gin in Missouri in September of 2010 over approximately 3 and a half weeks, with a total of approximately 1500 samples collected. Sample analysis at the Lubbock AQL occurred throughout the year. Between the five gins (NM, TX, CA, MO) sampled to date, over 7000 samples including filters and wash tubs have been brought back to the AQL for analysis. Photographs of every sample to document anomalies were taken. Gravimetric analyses of all the New Mexico (approximately 1800) and Texas (approximately 1400) samples and California samples (approximately 2600) were completed. Particle size distribution analyses were also completed on all samples from gins in New Mexico, South Texas, and California. The project will continue in FY2010 with a gin to be sampled in West Texas and continued sample and data analyses. The investigators are currently working on a manuscript detailing the sampling plan for the project and presentations on the sampling plan were made at the 2010 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in San Antonio, Texas.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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