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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329905

Research Project: Enhancing the Quality, Utility, Sustainability and Environmental Impact of Western and Long-Staple Cotton through Improvements in Harvesting, Processing, and Utilization

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Title: Preliminary fuel use results from gin audits

item Funk, Paul
item Hardin Iv, Robert
item TERRAZAS, ALBERT - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/8/2016
Publication Date: 7/17/2016
Citation: Funk, P.A., Hardin Iv, R.G., Terrazas, A.A. 2016. Preliminary fuel use results from gin audits. Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual International Meeting. Paper No. 162482120.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton production sustainability is being supported by research to find and disseminate industry best practices in the area of fuel (natural gas or propane) consumption related to seed cotton drying and lint moisture restoration in cotton ginning facilities. This conference proceeding discusses the initial season as materials and methods were being developed, inviting feedback from professional society peers with relevant experience that instrumentation and protocols for subsequent seasons might be improved.

Technical Abstract: Interest in improving sustainability in cotton production and processing has focused attention on fuel use by cotton gins for seed cotton drying. Audits are planned for multiple gin facilities over a diverse geography to establish baseline fuel usage and drying system efficiencies to reveal opportunities for improvement and guidance toward industry best practices. This first season four gins were sampled. Fuel consumption was estimated based on air mass flow rate, specific heat capacity, and temperature increase. Pitot tubes and thermocouples sensed air flow and temperature; values were recorded using battery powered 1 and 4-channel data loggers. Fuel use efficiency in the first stage of seed cotton drying (tower dryer) was 14.6% in the one gin that returned usable data. As a result of this first season, sampling protocols and instrumentation have been developed that will provide better quality data in subsequent campaigns.