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Water Application Method for Composting Cotton Gin Waste

J.A. Thomasson, M.H. Willcutt


Cotton gins generate large quantities of waste material, called cotton gin waste (CGW). Because of environmental concerns, incineration as a disposal method recently became outlawed across the Cotton Belt. Disposing of CGW by other means is costly for many gins. Spreading CGW on farm land has been proposed as the most acceptable method. Composting alleviates most concerns about spreading raw CGW. Bulk density of CGW from seed cotton cleaners was found to be 7.7 lb/ft3 (123 kg/m3). A small composting experiment showed that, without mixing the pile, composting was slow compared with past reports. Calculations showed that varying the flow of water used to wet CGW in response to the gin's CGW flow was unnecessary. Two systems were constructed, at two gins with auger-conveyor piling devices, for injecting surfactant into water to be applied to CGW. One system shut off the water flow automatically when the gin was not running. Both systems worked well. However, though pilot-scale experiments showed that surfactant speeded the uptake of water by CGW, the effect was not evident in a test at a commercial gin. This is assumed to be the result of extended mixing time and extra agitation in the enclosed auger portion in which water mixes with CGW.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1996 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 1597 - 1604
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998