This project goals are to build a centralized knowledge base to provide economic and environmental sustainable uses of the whole industrial hemp plant through a pilot growth operation of hybrid cultivar and subsequent manufacturing of hemp-derived products in partnership with industry to serve small and medium US farms. Specifically, we will engage in parallel efforts to co-engineer hemp crops and products to synthesize a unified, interactive learning ecosystem. The proposed project objectives to support the project goals are shown below:Objective 1: Understand the effect of agronomy practices and post-harvesting handling to produce hemp hybrid crops in US environments on the potential variability across the intended use of three different market classes (fiber, seed, and floral materials).Objective 2: Evaluate and optimize a sustainable and low cost extraction and synthesis process tailored for hybrid hemp crops utilizing whole hemp biomass including hurds, the lowest value but the highest content component of the hemp plant to maximize yield and quality of essential oils, fibers, and biopolymers.Objective 3: Evaluate and optimize fibers and compatible biopolymers for applications in molded packaging and ground cover films for agriculture applications.Objective 4: Optimize various processes guided by techno-economics, life-cycle analysis, and regulatory frameworks.
EMPOWERING FARMERS BY DIVERSIFYING INDUSTRIAL HEMP TO BIOPRODUCTS AND BIOCHEMICALS
Pal, L.; Lucia, Lu.
North Carolina State University