1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The long-term objective of this project is enhancement of the knowledge base pertaining to non-combustion source particulate matter generated from agricultural processing facilities, specifically cotton ginning. Our project plan establishes an interactive research program dedicated to characterization and accurate measurement of particulate matter having AED of less than or equal to 10 micrometers. During the next 3 years we will focus on the following objectives: Objective 1: Evaluate particulate matter emissions from cotton gins to enable more effective pollution abatement processes/designs. Objective 2: Quantify errors and/or biases associated with FRM particulate matter emission sampling methodologies when sampling cotton gins.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Six saw-type cotton gins and one roller-type gin will be included in the sampling plan. Testing will include particulate stack and ambient sampling. Stack sampling will be conducted on cyclone exhaust from various process streams in the cotton gin. Ambient sampling will be performed in conjunction with the stack sampling, but the two events are mutually exclusive. Ambient sampling will be for 24-hr periods on sampling stations placed at strategic locations around the cotton gin. Over 60 ambient samplers will be used to surround the cotton gin during the testing. Two advisory groups oversee air quality research conducted under the national cotton gin particulate matter emissions sampling campaign. The Cotton Ginning Advisory Group (CGAG) serves as liaison between the gins and ARS personnel, identifies prospective gins for sampling, and reviews all sampling protocols and results from an industry perspective. The CGAG is composed of representatives from the National Cotton Council, the National Cotton Ginners' Association, the Texas Cotton Ginners' Association, the California Cotton Growers and Ginners' Association, the Southern Cotton Ginners' Association, the Southeastern Cotton Ginners' Association, Cotton Incorporated, and Texas A&M University. Members of the Air Quality Advisory Group (AQAG) serve as scientific and industry reviewers of stack and ambient sampling methodologies, sample handling protocols, laboratory analyses, quality control and assurance protocols, data analyses, and prepared reports. The AQAG is composed of representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the California Air Resources Board, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and Texas A&M University. Involvement and participation of all advisory group members is essential with respect to development of relevant datasets appropriate for use by industry, regulatory agencies, and the scientific community. Details of the experimental plan were cooperatively developed by the CGAG and the AQAG. Prior approval for any deviation from the established experimental plan must be obtained from the CGAG and the AQAG before changes in any facet of the plan are implemented. The long-term, high risk research objectives of our plan will be completed concurrently during this campaign.
3. Progress Report:
Work on this project was performed by ARS researchers from Mesilla Park, New Mexico; Stoneville, Mississippi; and Lubbock, Texas; and Oklahoma State University researchers from Stillwater, Oklahoma. All extensive stack and ambient sampling campaigns for seven commercial cotton gins was completed, and all filters processed through the Lubbock Air Quality lab. Air Quality Lab analyses included: photographic, gravimetric, and particle size distribution analyses of all of the more than 10,000 samples collected during the sampling campaigns. Data from the stack sampling analyses have been published online at http://buser.bioen.okstate.edu/air-quality/national-cotton-gin-technical-reports. Also, there have been over 40 manuscripts, currently under review, detailing the stack testing results to a special edition of the Journal of Cotton Science. Data from the ambient sampling is currently being analyzed and manuscripts prepared.