A project to make the process of extracting cellulose fibers from hemp more sustainable is getting a fresh round of funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Engineering professor Charles Cai has developed a method to pulp hemp stalks and hurd that leaves behind only mineral ash. His pulping method won a grant last year from the EPA’s People, Prosperity and the Planet Program.
The school announced this week that the EPA has awarded Cai an additional $74,822 to study commercial applications for the process.
Cai’s “one-pot” method separates hemp stalks into:
- Pulped fiber.
The school now plans to work with hemp companies to commercialize the method, including creating large hempcrete blocks. Research partners include:
- Hempire USA.
- Match Patch Pro.
- The Hurd Co.
The next phase of EPA funding runs through 2022.