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The High Tech Industrial Applications Of Hemp Are Endless

Aug 2, 2017 • 1:13 PM EDT
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3 MIN READ  •  By Michael Berger
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Derek Thomas – Political Analyst

As the cannabis revolution sweeps across the country, hemp is making leaping strides alongside its marijuana cousin. Tens of thousands of acres will be grown across the nation this year, from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic. Crops are being grown for textiles, food, nutraceuticals, industrial cleaners, cbd’s, hemp oils, and building materials. Its estimated that hemp has over 20,000 commercial applications. Most of these uses are the same that our ancestors used hundreds and thousands of years ago. When you consider that hemp is just beginning to experience the benefits of discovery in the age of technology, and it could have much more than 20,000 commercial applications when our nations brightest are able to develop it.

After only a few years hemp has already been making strides across many industries. Incredibly, hemp is revolutionizing technology too, already.

Biofuel

Many engines are already capable of running on biofuel, from large transportation vehicles like city buses and 18 wheel trucks to cars and motorcycles. The majority of biofuel is made from corn ethanol, but hemp ethanol is already being manufactured and used in small batches. Not only is it interchangeable with other ethanol engines like corn, but it is far more environmentally friendly and efficient – and would more than likely be far more economical than corn. Corn is one of the most heavily chemical dependent crops, requires lots of water, and depletes the soil of nutrients. All of these stipulations increase the costs of ethanol while damaging the environment. Additionally, corn used for ethanol cannot be used for any other products, like food and produces less of a biomass than hemp – where the same hemp plant being used for biofuel can also be used for other products. Finally, hemp is well known for its carbon sequestration, meaning it and many of its byproducts pull C02 out of the surrounding environment.

Hemp is restricted by laws that prohibit cross border transportation, prohibit investment in infrastructure and research, and prohibit proper access to markets. Under free market conditions, hemp would undoubtedly dominate the biofuel market and perhaps even compete with traditional oils.

Plastic

Oil based plastic has reigned king for over a century, but plastic is another industry where hemp can be a major disruptor. Hemp has strong fibers and a high cellulose content, meaning the plant can be used to create lightweight, durable and more ecologically sound plastics. Hemp bio-plastic are still capable of functioning like traditional plastics (it can be extruded, injection molded, and 3D printed) and the products it makes have the added benefit of being bio-degradable. Companies like C2Renew are already making hemp based bio-plastics, but much like hemp bio-fuel, hemp plastic will need to have the same fair market access in order to compete with oil.

Nanosheets

Perhaps the most futuristic use for hemp concerns energy storage via carbon nanosheets. Also known as supercapacitors, these hemp based nanosheets are on par with – or better than – graphene, the industry standard in supercapacitors. These hemp nanosheets are produced from hemp bast fibers, which surround the inner stalk of the plant. These fibers are heated for 24 hours at 350 degrees before a last blast of intense heat causes the nanosheets to flake off the fibers. These sheets are better at storing energy than graphene and they’re also a fraction of the cost to produce, not to mention (again and again) that hemp is much more environmentally friendly than the process needed to manufacture graphene.

It’s pretty incredible that a plant makes an excellent source material for supercapacitors and batteries that could one day power everything from your phone to your car.

At this point, it’s hard to find an industry that hemp isn’t disrupting for the better. And all while making our earth healthier. Most are aware that we can food, oils, building materials, clothing – even healthcare – but few are aware of hemps technological promises. All the more reason hemp should be legal.

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Authored By

Michael Berger

Michael Berger is Managing Partner of StoneBridge Partners, LLC and Founder of Mushroomstocks.com. Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Michael was an Equity Research Analyst at Raymond James Financial covering the Energy Sector. Michael has been featured in publications such as The Street, Bloomberg, US Money News, and hosts various cannabis events across North America.

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