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on this page I express my personal view although I am not really an environmental expert. But I have an opinion although this may conflict with with the opinions of others. I just think that everyone involved in this Industry should think About the pros and cons.

1. About Cotton

Is Cotton an environmentally friendly product?

  • Cotton growing consumes a lot of water
  • Cotton growing mostly is a mono-culture
  • Cotton requires the use of of pesticides and insecticides
  • all this is not environmentally friendly
  • Cotton is a natural fibre
  • Cotton is an annually renewable fibre
  • Cotton is biodegradable
  • Cotton fibres can be recycled and are recycled
  • all this is environmentally friendly like paper

I do not dare to take a conclusion.

2. About Cotton Linters

Cotton Linters ( raw Linters ) are a by-product of Spinning-Cotton and in this respect cannot be named guilty for what is negative on Cotton itself. Basically Cotton Linters exist because their removal from the Cotton seed enhances the yield of cottonseed oil which is a healthy vegetable oil for human use.

In India and Pakistan and many African Cotton growing countries the Cotton seed is not delinted before the oil extraction. Mainly because the oil mills see no market for the Linters fibres.

The oilmills that delint the Cotton seed have an impact on the Environment with regards to the Quality of the raw Linters which they produce. ( see below under Cotton Linters pulp ) Many delinting companies regard the raw Linters as a waste and based on this thinking the put as much as possible already separated dirt into the Linters. The dirt is adding weight and increases the Profit. This however is at the cost of the Linters pulp Producers!

Raw Linters are used in the felting Industry and in the pulping Industry.

3. About Cotton Linters pulp

Cotton Linters pulp Producers in fact can be viewed at as a laundry. They split incoming goods( raw Linters ) into pure cellulose ( wanted ) and dirt ( unwanted ). this split is done mostly by chemical dissolution of the dirt by cooking with NaOH and the dirt ends up in the wastewater. The more dirt - the more COD in the wastewater.

as an example: an excellent raw material may give 150 kg COD per ton of pulp to the wastewater. A poor raw material will give 350 kg.

This amount of COD discharge is in the responsability of both the raw Linters Producer and the Cotton Linters pulp plant. But suffering is 100% on the side of the Linters pulp Producer. This under three aspects

  • more dirt requires more chemicals for elimination
  • more dirt requires more energy for elimination
  • more dirt restricts the usability for applications

If both sides ( raw linters Producer and pulping plant ) would respect their obligations to the Environment this would be a benefit for both.This is the good position of many of the USA oil mills and the 3 pulp producers.