Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chemical process developed to use cotton gin residue

20.12.2004


Virginia Tech researchers are working on technologies that could create a new industry from a problem in the state’s cotton-growing region.



"Our goal is to add a value to the cotton crop by using the residue from the cotton to make a valuable product," said Foster A. Agblevor, professor of biological systems engineering in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

About 100,000 acres of cotton are grown in the Virginia counties of Southampton, Isle of Wight, Greensville, Sussex, and the City of Suffolk. After the cotton is ginned, the residue left at the processing plant contains the chemical ingredients for products that are commercially valuable. Currently, the residue piles up at the site and must be removed. Because it easily ignites, it can be a hazard, and if it burns, can contribute to air pollution. "We have been able to develop the manufacturing processes that can extract specific chemicals and make two products – ethanol, which can be a fuel in automobiles, and xylitol, a sugar. "Our work shows a manufacturing process for extracting both products simultaneously from the cotton residue so in the future it is possible that a manufacturing company operating in Southside Virginia could produce both the ethanol and the xylitol products," Agblevor said.


Agblevor’s research has shown that the processes work in a laboratory. Along with students and technicians at Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Agblevor has taken the cotton gin residue and successfully chemically processed the material. The processes allow them to extract the glucose that can be used to make ethanol and the xylose that can be made into xylitol. The preliminary work was supported by the Southern Regional Biomass Energy Program. The project offers a solution to one of cotton production’s problems, he said. "Our estimate is that about 90 gallons of ethanol can be produced from a ton of cotton gin residue. At the end of a ginning season, plant sites in Virginia are piled high with the residue," Agblevor said, "There is enough raw material that needs to be used to make it possible to have a manufacturing process there."

An Iowa firm that produces ethanol from corn is interested in developing the technology. If the technology to use cotton gin residue can work efficiently at a pilot level, it will be possible to use the residue at a commercial level, which will not require government subsidies to make it economically viable. Currently, the production of ethanol from corn receives subsidies to make it profitable.

Mary Ann Johnson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>