By Noah Chen
Did you know you can use hemp to eat, sleep, and even create structures to live in? While hemp flowers are primarily grown for CBD extraction, the leftover parts of the plant, called hemp biomass, have a staggering array of uses. Hemp makes better clothes than cotton, more paper than trees, has ten grams of protein per serving, and is more sustainable than every material it can replace.
You can repurpose every part of the hemp plant. Processing it promotes eco-friendly industries. It helps farmers earn higher returns on hemp fields. Everyone wins!
Hemp biomass makes for clean biodiesel
Hemp biomass may win out as the substance most suited for conversion to biodiesel. Because it grows in a lot of environments and requires little water, hemp fields can create convenient access to a fuel source. The hemp plant is efficiently converted into diesel, and diesel engines do not need refitting to run on hemp biofuel.
Hemp ethanol and methanol is also produced from the fermented stalk of the plant. However, biodiesel, which comes from hemp seed oil, may end up a more lucrative opportunity.
The versatility of hemp fiber and hurds
Hemp hurds, the tough, fibrous stalks at the center of hemp biomass, have a variety of uses. As part of hemp biomass they can get extracted and made into strong concrete (or hempcrete), paper, and even plastics.
You make hempcrete by mixing dried hurds with a lime binder and water. There are several users of hempcrete who claim it can build a structure within a day. Hempcrete insulation has been in use since the 1990’s. The composite is catching up, in popularity, to concrete.
The same hurds helping to build buildings can also get pulped and made into paper. One acre of hemp biomass can produce the same amount of paper as five acres of trees. In the auto parts industry, hemp plastics are a viable material for certain products. In fact, Henry Ford used hemp plastics in his first cars before regulation made sourcing the hemp impossible.
Fine hemp fibers also have a practical use. They are woven into a linen-like fabric that stretches less and retains its shape better than cotton. It makes for shirts that get softer over time, and bedding that keeps cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Hemp seeds make for healthy living
Since the 2018 Farm Bill made farming hemp biomass legal, hemp seeds have become an industry onto themselves. Because they are chock full of protein, fiber, and fatty acids, hemp seeds end up in many recipes today. If the flavor isn’t to your liking, you also can repurpose it as animal feed!
The oil from hemp seed, called hemp oil, is also valuable, but don’t confuse it with CBD oil. With slightly different properties, hemp oil is an active ingredient in several lotions that relieve skin issues and, when ingested, may help relieve the symptoms of PMS and menopause. These are only some of the ways hemp oil gets incorporated into products we use every day.
Learn more about hemp biomass extraction
There truly are dozens – if not hundreds – of ways that hemp biomass, once extracted, gets processed into useful products. Each way can benefit the world and bring in revenue. While the number of acres used to grow hemp rises every year, it’s the farmers who know how to get the most out of their crop that will lead the way into greener industries. Ensure you have a trusted partner beside you every step of the way with Arbor Vita8. Our seed-to-sale variety of services help you succeed as a farmer. Our high-end facility and equipment for processing and extraction are second-to-none. Contact us today to see how we can support your hemp farming endeavors.