Farmers have cultivated hemp throughout recorded history for its industrial fiber. Industrial hemp benefits are not new. In fact, it has been conventionally used in various industries like paper, textiles, paint, biodegradable plastics, insulation, food, biofuel, and animal feed.
In the last decade, the hemp plant has been extensively promoted as a ‘Crop for the Future.’ Here are some benefits of hemp farming in various industries.
Hemp Fiber for Building Supplies
Farmers grow hemp for both its seeds and straw. The straw includes its fiber and core. Some companies use it for insulation or engineered building products like a pressboard or fiberboard that can be lighter and stronger than wood. Hempcrete is another revolutionary use of hemp that offers a more versatile, durable, and eco-friendly alternative to concrete.
Hemp fiber is the strongest natural fiber, and it has been used extensively for centuries.
Hemp Usage in Textile Industry
Textile manufacturers use hemp fiber to produce fabrics. The hemp plant is also known as a rich source of extremely stretchy and durable textile.
Moreover, hemp fiber makes mildew and mold-resistant fabric. The clothing is more absorbent and lightweight. It is naturally resistant to bacteria and feels soft on your skin. No wonder ancient Chinese texts also cite hemp usage for textiles, dating back to 8000 BC. The fabric has come a long way since modern designers use it for shoes, jeans, and sports clothing. Hemp fiber mixed with silk is used for high-end styles.
Other potential uses of hemp fiber include making sacking, ropes, carpets, nets, and webbing. Since the list of hemp benefits is endless, the hemp industry is now able to fulfill different textile needs and wants of consumers.
Environmental Impact of Hemp Farming
Hemp grows naturally on red loamy soil, and it soaks in the organic minerals and nutrients. Hence, it demands no extra manure, making this plant environment friendly.
Moreover, hemp can pull massive quantities of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Though many plants can do this as part of photosynthesis, hemp works well because of its luxurious foliage.
Similarly, hemp is a resilient plant and requires less water than other industrial crops like cotton. Also, hemp is an excellent rotational crop.
Many scientists believe that replacing general products with hemp alternatives can help our civilization move towards a more sustainable production and consumption method.
Hemp also improves the physical and chemical properties of fields that lack nutrients due to the climate or overuse. Another benefit of hemp is that it considerably enhances the structure of the soil it uses and stops ground erosion.
Moreover, you can use this plant in contaminated soil to clear the toxins and heavy metals.
Role of Hemp in the Production of Biomass fuels
Hemp is the top producer of biomass per acre in the world. It is cultivated to fulfill the oil, gas, and coal energy needs, ending the dependency on fossil fuels. With the advancement and commercialization of cellulosic ethanol technology, you can even use hemp stalks and leftovers as feedstock in the future.
The hemp plant has also been used to transform battery life by developing faster, tinier, and less expensive supercapacitors. You can use supercapacitors to provide energy for running anything, from electric vehicles to cordless tools, computers, and more.
Since hemp produces more biomass than any other type of plant species, it can soon become the main source of ethanol fuel.
Hemp Farming for Paper Production
Hemp is a better plant to produce paper because it contains much higher cellulose proportions that offer the plants their structure. Moreover, the higher the cellulose content of a plant, the better it is for producing paper as there is less need for chemicals to strip it down.
The manufacturers today use hemp fiber to produce papers extensively. They first boil, beat, or shred these fibers. After that, they use the fibers to make a pulp, spread it onto sheets, and press before drying to make papers.
Hemp is even used for the manufacturing of specialty papers like banknotes, cigarettes, and filter papers. It is a stronger option because hemp fiber is more resilient to tearing.
Apart from these, hemp is an exceptional ingredient for the food and beverage industries. Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids, while the seeds are rich in calcium, protein, and iron. They have more omega-3 than walnuts, making them perfect for several dietary supplements.
Industrial hemp is a robust plant with impressive benefits as it can endure poor weather conditions, drought, and pests. These features make this plant a versatile fiber crop for almost every industry across the spectrum.