|Hardin Iv, Robert
Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/27/2011
Publication Date: 4/1/2011
Citation: Hardin IV, R.G., Valco, T.D., Byler, R.K. 2011. Survey of seed cotton cleaning equipment in mid-south gins. Proceedings of Beltwide Cotton Conference. p. 602-609.
Interpretive Summary: Foreign matter must be removed from machine-harvested seed cotton before it can be ginned. Two basic types of machinery are used for seed cotton cleaning. Cylinder cleaners use rotating cylinders to scrub the seed cotton across grid bars, which are spaced so that smaller particles, such as cotton plant leaves, will fall through. The seed cotton is attached to a rotating drum with saw teeth in a stick machine. Heavier materials, such as cotton burrs, are removed due to centrifugal force. An extractor-feeder combines features of both types of cleaning machinery and also controls the flow rate of cotton to the gin stand. Commercial gins have varying arrangements of this machinery and the performance of this equipment in commercial gins is not well documented, as most previous research was conducted under laboratory settings. Gin managers are interested in improved performance of seed cotton cleaners because international markets have preferred cleaner cotton and seed cotton cleaners cause less damage to fiber than lint cleaners. A survey was conducted of the seed cotton cleaning equipment in Mid-South gins in 2009, and samples were collected from selected gins in 2009 and 2010. Most gins surveyed had the recommended sequence of seed cotton cleaning equipment– cylinder cleaner, stick machine, cylinder cleaner, and extractor-feeder, while many had an additional cleaner. Only 44% of the foreign matter was removed by the seed cotton cleaning equipment in 2009, likely due to the high moisture and mote (aborted seeds) content. Gins had significant differences in cleaning efficiency, and a regression analysis indicated that the number of cleaning machines had a significant effect on the foreign matter content after seed cotton cleaning. Cleaning efficiency was 59% in 2010, similar to previously reported values. However, samples from 2010 have only been partially analyzed. Due to the limited amount of data currently analyzed, no changes to the current recommendations can be made.
Technical Abstract: The performance of seed cotton cleaning equipment in commercial gins is not well documented. Most research reporting cleaning efficiencies of this machinery was performed in the laboratory under optimal conditions, while commercial gins must often process cotton with high moisture or foreign matter content. A survey was conducted of seed cotton cleaning equipment in Mid-South gins in 2009, and seed cotton samples were collected from selected gins in 2009 and 2010. Most gins surveyed had at least the recommended sequence of seed cotton cleaning equipment, with many having an additional cleaning machine. The data were analyzed to determine factors affecting cleaning efficiency. Overall cleaning efficiency was found to be lower in 2009 than most values previously reported in the literature. The condition of the incoming seed cotton was the likely reason for this low cleaning efficiency, as the seed cotton had high moisture and mote content. Regression analysis indicated that the number of cleaning machines had a significant effect on foreign matter content. Cleaning efficiency for gins in 2010 was higher and closer to previously reported values. Due to the limited amount of data analyzed, no recommendations can be made on using additional seed cotton cleaning equipment beyond the currently suggested machinery sequence.