Bioenergy from cotton industry wastes: a review and potential

Hamawand, Ihsan and Sandell, Gary and Pittaway, Pam and Chakrabarty, Sayan and Yusaf, Talal and Chen, Guangnan and Seneweera, Saman and Al-Lwayzy, Saddam and Bennett, John and Hopf, Joshua (2016) Bioenergy from cotton industry wastes: a review and potential. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 66. pp. 435-448. ISSN 1364-0321


Current estimates for world cotton production are about 25 million tonnes and accounting for 50 million tons of biomass waste. The options for utilising cotton biomass wastes include composting, gasification, pyrolysis, fermentation (ethanol), anaerobic digestion and direct incineration. Solid cotton gin waste cannot be directly reused on-farm due to farm hygiene risks. Composting either on-farm or at the gin is an accepted method for pathogen disinfection and pesticide degradation, although this option may face the problem of small market demand and possible disease concerns. On the other hand, on-farm cotton residues are fundamental for minimising losses in soil carbon, organic carbon content and surface protection. Converting these wastes to energy using various treatments such as gasification, pyrolysis and anaerobic digestion minimises the land required for processing, and the energy produced may offset the much higher capital costs involved. The scope of this study is to examine the size of cotton industry in Australia and the associated by-products produced. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of different options for utilising cotton wastes throughout processing were examined. The technical, environmental and economic aspects of each waste management option have formed the basis of our conclusions and recommendations. It seems that pyrolysis of cotton stalks is a good option due to the potential revenue of $104 million dollars. Using cotton gin trash (CGT) for ethanol production is another option, and the average production would be around 33–47 million litres of ethanol for the entire industry. The revenue from this process can be $33–47 million ($1/L). Cotton stalk provides the highest burning efficiency and longest burn time compared to corn stover and soybean residues. The potential amount of energy produced from burning cotton stalks can be around 24.8 PJ which is equivalent to $97 million worth of coal.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: First place winner for the USQ School-Specific 2016 Publication Excellence Awards for Journal Articles - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2016 05:55
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 05:23
Uncontrolled Keywords: bioenergy; biomass; cotton waste; gin trash; biofuel
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0904 Chemical Engineering > 090405 Non-automotive Combustion and Fuel Engineering (incl. Alternative/Renewable Fuels)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4004 Chemical engineering > 400402 Chemical and thermal processes in energy and combustion
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300202 Agricultural land management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 85 Energy > 8505 Renewable Energy > 850501 Biofuel (Biomass) Energy
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified
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