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Unloading system particulate emission factors for cotton gins: Particle size distribution characteristics

Buser, Michael D., Whitelock, Derek P., Boykin, J. Clif, Holt, Gregory A.
Journal of cotton science 2015 v.19 no.3 pp. 591-602
air quality, cotton, cotton gin, emissions factor, particle size, particle size distribution, particulate emissions, particulates, Southeastern United States
This report is part of a project to characterize cotton gin emissions from the standpoint of total particulate stack sampling and particle size analyses. In 2006 and again in 2013, the United States (U.S.) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a more stringent National Ambient Air Quality Standard for particulate matter with nominal diameter less than or equal to 2.5 µm (PM2.5). This created an urgent need to collect additional cotton gin emissions data to address current regulatory issues, because EPA AP-42 cotton gin PM2.5 emission factors were limited. In addition, current EPA AP-42 emission factor quality ratings for cotton gin PM10 (particulate matter with nominal diameter less than or equal to 10 µm) data are questionable, being extremely limited. The objective of this study was to characterize particulate emissions for unloading systems from cotton gins across the cotton belt based on particle size distribution analysis of total particulate samples from EPA-approved stack sampling methods. Average measured PM2.5, PM6, and PM10 emission factors based on the mass and particle size analyses of EPA Method 17 total particulate filter and wash samples from three gins (nine total test runs) were 0.0059 kg/227-kg bale (0.013 lb/500-lb bale), 0.053 kg/bale (0.117 lb/bale), and 0.084 kg/bale (0.185 lb/bale), respectively. The unloading system particle size distributions were characterized by an average mass median diameter of 7.5 µm aerodynamic equivalent diameter (AED). Based on system average emission factors, the ratio of PM2.5 to total particulate was 4.39%, PM6 to total particulate was 39.5%, and PM10 to total particulate was 62.3%.