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Manual Fractionation of MDTA-3 Trash Samples from Cotton Lint
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: 2008 Providence, Rhode Island, June 29 – July 2, 2008 084182.
Authors: J Clif Boykin, Derek P Whitelock, Carlos B Armijo, Michael D Buser, Gregory A Holt, Thomas D Valco, Dennis S Findley, Edward M Barnes, Michael D Watson
Keywords: Lint, trash, mdta-3, fractionation, cleaner, cleaning, seed coat fragment, leaf, stick, mote, funiculi
One goal of lint cleaning at a cotton gin is to reduce the non-lint material to an acceptable level with minimal fiber damage. In an effort to improve lint cleaner performance, an initial study was conducted on lint collected before and after lint cleaning from 9 commercial gins across the cotton belt to characterize non-lint content. Samples from this study were first processed with a MDTA-3 (Micro Dust and Trash Analyzer 3, SDL Atlas, Stockport, England) to separate lint, trash, fiber fragments, and dust to determine the fractional composition of the original sample. The trash portion was retained for additional manual fractionation to determine the percent of material classified as seed coat fragments (SCF), motes, funiculi, sticks, leaf, bark, lint, and “other” material. Leaf, SCF, and sticks were the largest fractions accounting for 81% of the total trash sample. Overall, total trash decreased by 57% due to lint cleaning, and trash fractions remained consistent in samples before and after lint cleaning. Lint cleaning efficiency in terms of SCF was less than the overall cleaning efficiency, and lint cleaning efficiency for bark, mote, and other (all minor components) was higher than the overall cleaning efficiency. The lint cleaning efficiency for SCF was increased significantly when higher SCF levels were found before the lint cleaner, but this trend was not found for other fractions. Results of this experiment will help direct future studies to improve lint cleaning.