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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Research Project #438162

Research Project: Development and Evaluation of Novel Technologies to Improve Fiber Quality and Increase Profitability in Cotton Processing

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Project Number: 6066-41440-009-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jun 1, 2020
End Date: May 31, 2025

1. Develop methods and devices to enable the reduction of plastic contaminants in commercially harvested cotton. 1.1. Develop a UAV-based intelligent system to identify and remove plastic particles in cotton field. 1.2. Develop a sensor and control system to remove plastic contamination in ginning process. 2. Develop and evaluate tools and methods to enable the commercial preservation of cotton fiber quality and increase ginning efficiency. 2.1. Develop and evaluate sensors for cotton moisture measurement in real time in situ. 2.2. Detect moisture in cotton module using UAV-based platform. 2.3. Develop and evaluate air-bar lint cleaner to increase the turnout and preserve fiber quality. 2.4. Develop a sensing and control system to automatically adjust ginning process for optimal ginning efficiency. 3. Develop methods to enable the use of commercial cotton gin trash and seeds for bio-products and bio-energy. 3.1. Develop new methods to process gin trash for bio-products and energy. 3.2. Investigate moisture dynamics in cotton seeds.

The Cotton Ginning Research Unit seeks to develop cotton ginning technologies to maximize fiber quality, increase ginning efficiency, and minimize the environmental impact of ginning. Plastic contaminants in U.S. cotton are rapidly increasing in recent years and have become a serious threat to U.S. cotton industry by reducing marketable quality. New sensing and control systems and ginning machinery are needed to clean the contaminants, improve fiber quality and ginning efficiency, and increase cotton producers’ profitability. Researchers will develop and evaluate sensing and control systems to remove plastic contaminants from cotton and develop new tools for accurate cotton moisture measurements. UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) remote sensing will be used as a platform to find and remove the plastics from cotton fields and to detect moisture in cotton modules. Optical sensors, data processing, automatic controls and the like will be designed and built to detect and remove the plastic materials during gin processing. Moisture sensors, coupled with improved measurement of mass-flow rate and new models, will be developed and tested to accurately determine moisture of seed cotton, cotton lint, and cotton seeds in real time. Using the data gathered, an improved control system will be designed and fabricated to optimize ginning efficiency. Additional research includes developing and evaluating new lint cleaning technology to better preserve fiber quality and increase the ginning turnout. Studies on new methods to use gin trash for bio-energy will also be conducted in this project.