Even after employing the Ginning Process for recovery of lint from seed cotton , a certain amount of fuzz (very short fibers unsuitable for spinning) remains on the cotton seeds. This fuzz is known as Cotton Linters and are removed in Delinting Machines.
Cotton Linters collected after the first pass using delinting machine are called ‘first cut linters’ and they are called ‘second cut linters’ after second pass in the same machine. Third cut linters are often called as ‘hull fibers’
Cotton linters are delivered in compressed bales form for easy transportation. The bale weight is generally 150 to 170 kgs.
The average fiber length is from 2.5 mm to 6 mm. The average cellulose content is 75~85%.
Cotton Linter is an important natural source for cellulose, besides wood.
Linters are traditionally used in the manufacture of bond paper, Man Made Fibers and as a raw material in the manufacture of cellulose.
Linters are used for production of bleached linters (cotton linters pulp, CLP/cotton linters cellulose, CLC) that have an alpha-cellulose content of about 99%. Due to their purity and to their properties, the cotton linters pulp is the cellulosic basis for a large number of special and niche products in the paper and chemical industry such as cellulose nitrate, and acetate.
Linters are used for production of absorbent cotton which has medical, cosmetic and many other practical uses.
Linters are also used in manufacturing medical pads, gauze, twine, wicks, and carpet yarns.
Linter pulp has many other applications such as making smokeless gun powder. Also, arms ammunition, air-to-air and air-to-ground rocket propellants, and large solid-fuel rockets utilize nitrocellulose derived from cotton linter pulp
A large quantity of linter pulp is also used in photographic film and in the production of molding plastics and lacquers. Linter pulp is also used in the production of such diverse items as sausage casings, cellulose lacquers for use on furniture, metal, and in fingernail polishes, decorative laminates, industrial and automotive filters, battery separators, and printed electrical circuit boards for use in the computer and electronics industry.