Submitted to: International Cotton Advisory Committee Recorder
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/4/2001
Publication Date: 4/2/2002
Citation: Anthony, W.S. 2002. Online assessment of cotton stickiness. International Cotton Advisory Committee Recorder. pp 99-104.
Interpretive Summary: Over 80 million bales of cotton are produced annually worldwide with the U.S. contributing about 20%. Some countries, including the U.S., have problems with insects such as the aphid and whitefly that feed on the cotton plant and then excrete droplets of material that are high in sugar. This material, colloquially known as honeydew, is sticky. When processed at the textile mill, several operational problems occur necessitating remedial actions. Current laboratory-type detection methods are time- consuming and subjective. Thus, a fast, automated method was developed for laboratory and online use during cotton processing at the mill or gin. This patented method, which is based on infrared and electrical resistance technology, provides online detection of insect sugars on cotton and enhances mitigation efforts. The technology should reduce the monetary penalties associated with sticky cotton.
Technical Abstract: Rapid assessment of the stickiness of cotton can be accomplished with a new, patented apparatus developed at the U.S. Cotton Ginning Laboratory at Stoneville, Mississippi. The apparatus essentially consists of an infrared-based moisture sensor, a resistance-based moisture sensor, a compression mechanism, and a computer equipped with special software. The apparatus may be used as a stationary laboratory device or it may be used for continuous, online monitoring in a gin or textile environment. The infrared moisture meter responds to the level of natural sugar and insect sugar that is contained within the sample whereas the resistance moisture content is affected only slightly by the insect sugars. Results of several studies involving a number of cottons grown across the U.S. cotton belt indicated that the instrument can correctly estimate stickiness over 75% of the time.