Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/28/2008
Publication Date: 11/12/2008
Citation: Byler, R.K. 2008. Seed Cotton Moisture Restoration in a Commercial Gin. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. Vol. 24(5): 587-591.
Interpretive Summary: Our previous work has shown that spraying atomized water on seed cotton that is drier than ideal in a research gin will result in cotton fiber with longer fiber, less short fiber content and stronger fiber. Atomizing spray nozzles were installed in a commercial gin plant and water was sprayed on the seed cotton for some bales and not sprayed on otherwise similar bales on six different occasions. The amount of water added was controlled by the atomizing air pressure used. The system applied between 0.2 and 1.1 percentage points of moisture to the lint measured after the gin stand. The seed cotton moisture restoration resulted in improved fiber length properties, lower fiber entanglements, and lower short fiber content but higher trash levels in the ginned lint. This seed cotton moisture restoration resulted in improved fiber length for the commercial gin in which it was installed. Improved fiber length quality will make the cotton fiber more competitive in the marketplace.
Technical Abstract: Commercially available atomizing nozzles were installed in a commercial cotton gin to apply water to seed cotton between the dropper after seed cotton cleaning and the conveyer-distributor before ginning. The moisture content (mc) of lint samples collected between the gin stand and the first lint cleaner was increased by between 0.2 and 1.1 percentage points with the system. The lint samples which had been ginned at higher mc had higher Advanced Fiber Information System (AFIS) length by weight and upper quartile length with lower short fiber content. The AFIS non-lint content was higher for higher mc lint and the AFIS nep content was lower. This seed cotton moisture restoration resulted in improved fiber length for the commercial gin in which it was installed.