​​​Saving Energy in Cotton Gins (MODULE)​

July 2018 | 9 min., 35 sec.
by Paul A. Funk

Audio Icon​​Summary Webcast IconStudy Guide IconSlide Download Icon​​



​Energy costs represent 20% of the total cost of ginning; a national industry survey indicated electricity cost varied from $1.62 to $21.58 per bale processed, and fuel costs from $0.23 to $9.07 per bale; these disparities indicate opportunity for improvement and the need to identify best practices that other facilities can emulate. This presentation will help cotton gin owners, managers and operators in the US cotton belt understand the key steps to take to reduce energy consumption. Because pneumatic conveying represents half of the electrical energy used by a typical gin, recommendations focus on sealing leaks in air ducts, minimizing turbulence before and after fans, reducing pressure drops by simplifying flow paths, and using mechanical conveyors where practical. Fuel consumption can be reduced by insulating the hottest ducts, minimizing the distance between burners and cotton pickup points, and adding automatic controls with temperature sensing in recommended locations. Environmental stewardship and economic sustainability are both served through improved energy utilization.

About the Presenter

Paul A. FunkPaul A. Funk earned his master's and doctorate in Agricultural Engineering from the universities of Minnesota and Arizona, respectively. Before joining the USDA-Agricultural Research Service-Southwestern Cotton Ginning Research Laboratory he taught Mechanical Engineering and assisted with a Department of Energy funded Industrial Assessment Center performing energy, waste, and productivity audits for medium sized industries in Illinois. Dr. Funk has performed numerous audits of electrical and fuel energy systems in commercial cotton gins and authored manuscripts documenting improved sustainability through the cotton-based textiles supply chain.

Contact Information:
Email: paul.funk@ars.usda.gov


In 2020, Grow webcasts had more than 110,000 views. Help support our mission to provide comprehensive high-quality, science-based resources to and for plant health researchers and practitioners at no cost.

PDMR submission guidelines and schedule information are available online.


Plant Health Progress is a peer-reviewed multidiciplinary, online journal of applied plant health.