Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #114206


item Funk, Paul

Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meetings Papers
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2000
Publication Date: 7/12/2000
Citation: Funk, P.A., Eiceman, G.A. 2000. The Need For In-Gin On-Line Contamination Detection. American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meeting Papers. ASAE Paper No. 001147. p 1-7.

Interpretive Summary: Detecting plastic contamination can save the cotton industry $5 million per year. It must be done in the drying system before gin machinery shreds and disperses the foreign material. Gin drying systems are at high enough temperatures that plastics produce detectable levels of vapors. These vapors are distinct from those released by cottonseed and lint, as demonstrated by gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry. This research is now feasible because of new ion mobility spectrometry technology.

Technical Abstract: Contamination in cotton directly costs US spinning mills $5 million per year in claims. Plastic fibers cause the most serious contamination problem because they cannot be separated from natural fibers and they dye differently, disfiguring finished goods. Plastic must be removed from seed cotton before ginning machinery shreds and disperses it. Removal requires detection. In preliminary studies the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) off gassed by warm polymers was different in chemistry and orders of magnitude greater in abundance than VOCs released by cotton seed and cotton lint.