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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 #314532

Title: Physical processing and emission characteristics of firelogs from cotton ginning byproducts

item BAJWA, D. - University Of North Dakota
item BAJWA, S. - University Of North Dakota
item WEDEGAERTNER, T. - Cotton, Inc
item Holt, Gregory

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2016
Publication Date: 9/15/2016
Citation: Bajwa, D.S., Bajwa, S.G., Wedegaertner, T.C., Holt, G.A. 2016. Physical processing and emission characteristics of firelogs from cotton ginning byproducts. Journal of Cotton Science. 20:367–374.

Interpretive Summary: The use of densified bioenergy products has increased significantly over the last few years due to environmental concerns and fluctuations in the price of petroleum derivatives. Most of the densified solid biofuels use a combination of high energy solid fuel, biomass and a binder. It is estimated that over 100 million firelogs are burned in fireplaces by U.S. consumers annually. Firelogs were created in 1960's to meet the need to recycle wood waste coming out of a California wood products plant and are composed mainly of wax and biomass from wood chips or sawdust. The overall goal of this project was to evaluate the suitability of cotting ginning byproducts, cotton burr and stems (CBS), as a raw material in manufactured firelogs. Specifically, (1) evaluate the effect of manufacturing conditions and product composition on product quality and performance, and (2) characterize the air emissions during the burning of manufactured fire logs containing CBS. Results indicate CBS fiber was found to be acceptable alternative material for manufacturing firelogs. Higher density and compaction ratio of firelogs resulted in improved flame height, durability and uniform burn quality.

Technical Abstract: A study was conducted to evaluate the suitability of cotton ginning byproducts for manufacturing firelogs. Cotton burr with stem (CBS) a byproduct from cotton ginning operation was mixed with petroleum based paraffin wax to manufacture firelogs. The impact of varying the formulation of firelogs, and the processing conditions on the overall burn quality of firelogs was examined. The fire logs were burn tested in a wood burning stove to quantify the burn quality, burn time, product durability and gaseous emissions. Firelog composition had no effect on the burn temperatures. None of the firelogs indicated any detectable levels of CO, NH4, H2, and NO gases. Air emission samples from combustion showed the presence of suites of n-alkanes, n-alkenes, oxygenated volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), halogenated alkane, cyclic terpenes, benzene derivatives and naphthalene. This study showed the potential of CBS as an alternative material for manufacturing firelogs.