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 Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>