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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #299224

Title: Developing new emission factors for the Texas cotton ginning industry

item GREEN, J - Texas Cotton Ginners Association
item BUSER, MICHAEL - Oklahoma State University
item Whitelock, Derek
item Boykin Jr, James

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2013
Publication Date: 5/15/2013
Citation: Green, J.K., Buser, M.D., Whitelock, D.P., Boykin Jr, J.C. 2013. Developing new emission factors for the Texas cotton ginning industry. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference, January 7-10, 2013, San Antonio, TX. Available:

Interpretive Summary: The scientists from the USDA-ARS Ginning Laboratories and Oklahoma State University completed a very comprehensive point source sampling campaign. Data from these tests has been compiled into an updated set of emission factors for use in the permitting of cotton gins by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. This data will replace existing data that was also developed by the USDA-ARS for essentially the same purpose about 40 years ago. The new tests directly measured emissions of total dust, dust less than ten microns in diameter, and dust less than 2.5 microns in diameter from each of the facilities being tested. These new test use modern testing techniques, and are being performed on modern plants that are more representative of the current industry. Through this research, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality now assigns a much lower PM2.5 emission rate for the gins. The updated emissions data should be a much more accurate representation of the typical emission rate for the cotton ginning industry in Texas.

Technical Abstract: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is the regulatory authority that issues air quality permits in Texas. All cotton gins operating in Texas are required to obtain a permit from the TCEQ. The TCEQ is very experienced at permitting cotton gins, having rules in place requiring these permits since the 1970s. TCEQ also developed one of the first sets of emissions factors for cotton gins. These factors utilized emissions data developed by the USDA-ARS in the early 1970s. In 2008, a team of researchers from the USDA-ARS developed a plan to sample emissions from seven cotton gins located across the cotton belt. During the testing phase, one of these scientists relocated to Oklahoma State University, but remained active throughout the project. In this plan, each emission point from seven cotton gins was sampled for total suspended particulate (TSP), particulate less than or equal to ten microns in diameter (PM10), and particulate less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5). The sampling was performed using three different testing methods. Data from this emission test is now available. The quality of this data is very high, and since the current TCEQ emission factors are based on much older data, it would seem appropriate to update the existing TCEQ emission factors with data from the seven gin study.