Submitted to: Transactions of the ASAE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/18/1999
Publication Date: 3/1/2000
Citation: Anthony, W.S. 2000. Methods to reduce lint cleaner waste. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. 43(2): 221-229
Interpretive Summary: Cleaning cotton fiber after it is separated from the cottonseed is accomplished with rigorous cleaning machines called lint cleaners. The high-speed saw and multiple cleaning points clean fiber well but also discards good fiber and damages fibers. A conventional lint cleaner typically removes about 20 pounds of material per bale of cotton, and at least 50% of the discarded material is good fiber. They also increase the fibers less than 0.5 inches long and the fiber entanglements by 50%. New technology (patent pending) to selectively use from one to eight of the cleaning points (grid bars) in modified lint cleaners was evaluated in several gin and textile mill studies. Results indicate that the fiber wastage, fiber entanglements, and short fibers can be reduced by 50% for cottons that do not require rigorous cleaning. Field tests on 39,000 bales at a commercial gin increased bale value by over $15 per bale and dramatically improved fiber quality.
Technical Abstract: New technology to automatically engage/disengage grid bars in saw-type lint cleaners to reduce fiber waste and associated fiber damage was evaluated in five studies. The number of active grid bars in the studies varied from 0 to 10, and as grid bars increased, fiber loss and damage increased. Typically for a single 5-grid bar lint cleaner, about 50% of the material was removed by the first two grid bars; for two lint cleaners, about 40% of the material was removed by the first two grid bars. Short fiber content and neps increased over 30% as grid bars increased from 2 to 10, and mill performance was degraded. Material removed from lint by saw-type lint cleaners is strongly related to variety, growing conditions and harvesting, and ranged from 6.1 to 17.5 kg (13.4 to 38.6 pounds) per bale when two lint cleaners were used. In a 39,000 bale field study where lint cleaning was optimized by a computerized process control system, fiber loss from two grid bars (8 pounds per bale) was about 25% of that from five grid bars 13.6 kg (30 pounds per bale).