Value Added Hemp Fiber: A Pathway for Economic Prosperity in and for WV

Synthetic fibers, petroleum based plastics and fuel, cellulose based alcohol production, all cotton products, all wood products, advanced nano technology markets, and gasification facilities producing electricity have a run for their money whenever it comes to competing with hemp fiber in the international market. And the fiber from the hemp stalk isn’t even the only revenue stream, but anyways:

Synthetic fibers, Nylon comes to mind, is a petroleum based synthetic fiber widely known for its use in ropes. Moving away from petroleum based products seems like a beneficial direction to move in considering the power of oil on the global market, and it’s environmental impact being at odds with profit. Now, sowing land with hemp like you’ve never seen on a scale people haven’t really grasped (yet), could provide the supply to bio-alternatives to petrol-based products, while revitalizing environments, creating farming and industry jobs domestically, and bringing our troops home instead of using them as pawns in a scheme to obtain resources in countries .

Corn and Soy Bean are both widely used for their cellulose production in the ethanol market. Hemp is much more cellulose dense, uses much less water to grow, and it does so without the need for herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. Using hemp for ethanol production would decrease the price of corn and soybean, and they could actually be used for food. The cellulose in hemp, although over my head, has shown great potential in the plastics market, and this is appealing to me because more plastics are petroleum based. With the globe becoming more environmentally conscious, this is another trend that signifies the potential for hemp cultivation.

Cotton is very exposed to the weather, as opposed to the hemp stalk. Hemp is more vigorous against pests and molds, plus hemp uses much less water to grow than cotton. China is looking to replace some of it’s 5 million acres of cotton, with food and hemp crops. Hemp biomass can be burnt in unison with coal to create electricity in gasification facilities, cleaning carbon emissions. Carbon derived from hemp can me manufactured into activated activated charcoal and graphene nano sheets. Wood is obviously much less renewable that the annual (bi/triannual?) crop which is hemp which makes it ideal for paper making.

Hemp has much potential for taking names in the global market, and with West Virginia making the progress that is has and will make in the future, a pathway to international partnerships that lead to economic prosperity will open up as America waits for a federal amendment to flood the American hemp market with legal domestic business.




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