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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Cotton Production and Processing Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #236714

Title: Equipment selection for recovering fiber from stripper harvested gin waste

item Holt, Gregory

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2009
Publication Date: 5/1/2009
Citation: Holt, G.A., Knabb, C., Wedegaertner, T. 2009. Equipment selection for recovering fiber from stripper harvested gin waste. In: Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 5-8, 2009, San Antonio, Texas. 2009 CDROM. p. 531-537.

Interpretive Summary: Previous research studies focusing on segregation of cotton gin byproducts (gin waste or gin trash) into its various components revealed the quantity of recoverable fibers to be in the range of 10 to 25 percent by weight. For cotton gins processing bur-extracted stripper harvested cotton, this would equate to 40 to 100 lb of lint per bale. If motes were selling for 10 cents per bale, this could result in a return of $4 to $10 for every bale ginned. As a result of the previous studies, several cotton ginners inquired as to the best equipment layout that would reclaim the most "clean" fiber. Consequently, this study investigated nine different equipment layouts using separators, cylinder cleaners, and stick machines (also known as extractors) to see if there was a machinery layout that significantly reclaimed and cleaned the fibers in the gin waste more than others. Results from the study show the layouts using only cylinder cleaners did not sufficiently clean the fibers compared to the machinery setups that contained stick machines. The setup that did the best job of reclaiming “cleaned” fibers was the layout with two separators and two stick machines. Overall, the fibers recovered are suitable for inclusion into mote bales but not lint bales since they contain a significant amount of short fibers, 23 to 30 percent by weight. Given current economic conditions of higher input costs and lower prices for cotton, producers and ginners need to take advantage of every possible source of revenue available from the crop. Reclaiming the fibers traditionally left in gin waste and incorporating them into the gins mote bales is a good source of additional revenue.

Technical Abstract: Previous studies have shown the quantity of recoverable fibers with the potential to be marketed as motes approaches 10 to 25 percent of gin trash by weight. As a result of these findings and practical experience from a commercial cotton gin, questions arose as to the best equipment setup needed to recover the largest quantity of mote quality fibers. In this study, nine machinery layouts were evaluated to determine the setup that produced the most "clean" fibers. The machinery layouts evaluated included gravity feeding, separators, cylinder cleaners, and extractors (stick machines). Results showed that machinery layouts that contained only cylinder cleaners with or without separators did not clean the fibers as well as layouts that contained at least one extractor. The setup that produced the "cleanest" fibers was one that contained two separators and two extractors. In addition to the quantity of "cleaned" fibers produced, AFIS data was obtained on all fibers reclaimed from each layout. The AFIS data showed short fiber contents ranging from 23 to 30 percent by weight and 53 to 63 percent by number and indicated some significant differences for certain parameters. Given that the fibers recovered are intended for inclusion into the mote bales and not the lint bales, the AFIS data did not indicate one machinery layout to be more desirable than another.