Hemp, Inc.’s Tamafa decortication plant is an automated fiber processing line designed to separate and extract the fiber from the core of hemp or kenaf plant stalk. The process is called decortication.
The plant is the only one of this magnitude in North America. In fact, it’s one of only five of this size in the whole world. It is the only commercial large scale machinery of its kind in the region and according to Bruce Perlowin (Hemp Inc.’s CEO) it would take up to three years or more to duplicate the decortication plant line.
Hemp Inc. is clearly the leader in the industrial hemp industry. The company is committed to spearheading a clean, green, American agricultural and industrial hemp revolution, like in the old good days of hemp farming.
The decortication plant is newly installed in Spring Hope, North Carolina, and anticipates processing up to 3 million pounds of kenaf per month when the switch is turned on. The team has more than 30 years of experience in the field of fiber manufacturing. The goal is to be a resource for the American hemp and kenaf farmers to process their crops.
Processing raw hemp is the biggest hurdle hemp farmers will face. Most farmers will plant hemp for the seed and either collect it for future crops, or use the seed to make oil and other hemp products. The demand is America is for hemp grown and manufactured in America. This would create a new wave of jobs for people as well.
How the Decortication Plant Works
The decortication process automatically separates the plant’s fibers from the core of the hemp plant stalks. It is then processed even further to develop very useful products from both the core and the fiber.
The outer part of the plant stalk is known as bast, which are soft fibers that run longitudinal along the stalks. Long bast fibers are used in wide range of products, which include hemp fabric and textile, paper processing, construction insulation material and many others.
The middle of the stalk is the core, also known as the hurd, which contains wood cellulose. The core is widely known for its high absorption properties, making it very useful in cleaning industrial oil spills. Another very valuable product made from this material is called loss circulation material (LCM). It is used in drilling rigs in the oil and gas industries and is widely sought after by many countries.
Separating the main two components – fiber and core – allows an extensive range of valuable products to be made from the entire hemp plant.
Providing hemp farmers with a way of processing their stalks gives them an added revenue stream from their crops. Without a way to process the stalks to make additional products, farmers typically let the stalks rot in the fields or grind them up for animal bedding.
Hemp, Inc. offers the decortication plant to farmers who area in the region. The main issue at this time is the transportation across state lines. This is why the company is also developing a portable decortication unit that farmers can use on their own land. Once the fiber is processed, they will be able to ship it to the decortication plant in NC. for further processing into products. It’s a win-win for all.
Author Devi Barnard