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Valorisation of hemp by-products for composite applications

  • PROJECT CODE: BI-EE/20-22-007
  • PROJECT TITLE: Valorisation of hemp by-products for composite applications
  • PROJECT TEAM: David DeVallance, PhD (leader), Jaka Gašper Pečnik, Marica Mikuljan, Laetitia Marrot
  • PERIOD: 1.11.2020 – 31.10.2022
  • BUDGET: €2,000.00
  • FINANCING: Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS)
  • PARTNERS: InnoRenew CoE (Slovenia); Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia)

Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), is an annual crop that requires low input to cultivate, fitting it into sustainable farming systems. The hemp plant is quite versatile as all parts can be used for different applications. In Slovenia and Estonia, cannabidiol (CBD) oil is the main product harvested from hemp, and the remaining plant material ends up as low-value products or waste.

This project proposes new ways to value hemp residues from Slovenian and Estonian industries. Fibers and shives will be considered separately, due to their distinct properties, in order to target different applications in the composite industry and provide value beyond CBD oil for producers. Besides increasing scientific knowledge in the fields of natural fibers, renewable composites and taxonomic kingdom, strong collaboration between the Slovenian and Estonian institutes will be initiated, extending the involvement of young researchers in international projects.

InnoRenew CoE project activities

InnoRenew CoE researchers will develop two major products: thermoplastic composites using hemp fibers as a reinforcement and mycelium composites using hemp shives as a substrate. In addition, formulations and manufacturing processes for these materials will be customized, and the mechanical properties of both bio-based composites will be measured.