Home » Volume 15 / 2011 » Issue 1 »
Evaluation of Select Equipment Sequences for Optimal Fiber Recovery from Stripper-Harvested Gin Waste
Gregory A. Holt, James Simonton, John Wanjura, Charley Knabb, Mathew Pelletier, and Tom Wedegaertner
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Previous studies evaluating the constituents of gin waste indicated 10 to 25% of the total mass consisted of recoverable fibers that have the potential to be marketed as gin motes. As a result of these findings and of practical experience from a commercial cotton gin, questions arose as to the best sequence of cotton gin precleaning equipment needed to recover the largest quantity of mote quality fibers. In this study, nine machinery layouts were evaluated to determine the sequence that produced the largest quantity of the cleanest marketable fibers. The precleaning machinery evaluated included gravity feeding, separators, cylinder cleaners, and extractors. Results indicated that the cleanest marketable fibers were produced by machine sequences that contained at least one extractor (i.e., stick and burr machine). In addition, Advanced Fiber Information System (AFIS) data were also obtained on all fibers reclaimed from each layout. The AFIS data revealed short fiber contents ranging from 23 to 30% by weight and 53 to 63% by number and indicated significant differences (p value ≤ 0.05) for some of the fiber properties. Due to the quality of the fibers recovered, the AFIS data were not used in selecting one treatment over another. An economic analysis using a range of gin mote prices, ginning capacities, and fiber recovery rates suggested that desirable potential revenues for gins of 40,000 bales/yr and higher are possible.