Home » Volume 19 / 2015 » Issue 1 »
Unloading System Total Particulate Emission Factors and Rates for Cotton Gins: Method 17
Derek P. Whitelock, Michael D. Buser, J. Clif Boykin, and Gregory A. Holt
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This report is part of a project to characterize cotton gin emissions from the standpoint of stack sampling. The impetus behind this project was the urgent need to collect additional cotton gin emissions data to address current regulatory issues. A key component of this study was focused on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) total particulate emission factors. EPA AP-42 emission factors generally are assigned a rating, from A (excellent) to E (poor), to assess the quality of the data being referenced. Current EPA total particulate emission factor quality ratings for cotton gins are extremely low. Cotton gin data received these low ratings because the data were collected almost exclusively from a single geographical region. The objective of this study was to collect additional total particulate emission factor data for unloading systems from cotton gins located in regions across the cotton belt using EPA-approved stack sampling methodology, Method 17. The project plan included sampling seven cotton gins. Key factors for selecting specific cotton gins included: 1) facility location, 2) production capacity, 3) processing systems, and 4) abatement technologies. Three gins with unloading system exhausts were sampled. The average production rate during testing for the three gins was 24.7 bales/h. The unloading system average total particulate emission factor based on three tests (nine total test runs) was 0.134 kg/227-kg bale (0.296 lb/500-lb bale). This average total particulate emission factor was higher than that currently published in 1996 EPA AP-42, which was 0.13 kg/bale (0.29 lb/bale). The unloading system emission rate test averages ranged from 1.56 to 3.93 kg/h (3.43-8.67 lb/h).