Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/9/2001
Publication Date: 6/1/2001
Citation: Byler, R.K. 2001. Preliminary results from moisture addition during ginning. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. Volume 2:1358-1361
Interpretive Summary: Most cotton gins can dry the seed cotton that arrives at the gin but cannot add moisture to it before the fiber-seed separation process. In many cases the lint is already below the optimal range of 6 to 7 percent when it arrives at the gin. If a gin does add moisture to the lint it is normally added too late in the processing to preserve fiber quality. Gin machinery reduces the quality of the fiber produced at the gin if it is processed at moisture content lower than the optimal range, so fiber quality should be better preserved if moisture were added earlier in processing. Initial efforts using modified off-the-shelf ginning equipment successfully humidified the seed cotton. The experimental process resulted in lint with higher moisture content and improved fiber quality. Further research is required to better understand the limits of the moisture addition process; successful results should improve fiber quality and farmer profit.
Technical Abstract: Research results over the years have shown that fiber quality is improved when lint moisture content at the gin stand is in the range 6 to 7 percent wet basis. However, under many conditions lint is drier than that when it arrives at the gin. In addition, in some circumstances it may be desirable to dry cotton to below this range because cleaning equipment is more efficient at lower moisture levels. This paper describes preliminary results of using the equipment normally considered to be the second stage of drying in the gin to humidify the seed cotton rather than dry it. The test resulted in higher lint moisture levels before and after the lint cleaners when the experimental moisture restoration equipment was used and also improved fiber quality properties, including fiber length, from AFIS measurements of samples obtained while ginning.