Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2011
Publication Date: 3/1/2012
Citation: Baker, K.D., Hughs, S.E. 2012. A survey of seed cotton dryers in cotton gins in the southwestern United States. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 28(1):87-97.
Interpretive Summary: In order to improve the effectiveness of cleaning equipment, cotton is generally dried with heated air as it first enters the gin. On-site visits of cotton gins were done to check drying system parameters in gins in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Parameters surveyed included airflow rate, pressure drop, air power, fuel use, and system drying effectiveness. Data will benefit those who own and operate cotton gins, as well as those who utilize cotton gins, such as cotton growers and millers.
Technical Abstract: Seed cotton drying is an important and costly part of cotton ginning, since seed cotton having too high a moisture content cannot be cleaned or ginned properly. In this study, seventy-three dryers were surveyed by on-site visits in twenty-three gins located in the southwestern U.S. during the 2007 to 2010 ginning seasons. Drying systems surveyed included: standard tower, short tower, hot shelf, hi-volume tower, belt, big reel, vertical, hot air cleaner, pipe, cross-flow, hot box, hi-slip, jet, fountain and collider systems. Forty-eight percent of dryers had the recommended dual temperature controls, while 26% had only a primary temperature control and 26% had only a maximum temperature control. Belt and big reel dryers had the lowest airflow rates and needed the lowest air power. Collider, fountain and hi-volume tower dryers had the highest airflow rates and hi-slip, hi-volume tower and standard tower dryers needed the highest air power. Belt, cross-flow and hot air cleaner dryers had the lowest pressure drop, while hi-slip, pipe and standard tower dryers had the highest pressure drop. Drying air power for all systems in each gin correlated well with the sum of the average values computed for each of the dryer types in that gin. Fuel use index was moderately and positively correlated with airflow and temperature rise. Systems with fountain, collider, belt, big reel, jet and hot air cleaner dryers had favorable, low values for fuel use index, while systems with crossflow and hi-volume tower dryers had high values for fuel use index.