As climate change narrative is getting bigger and bigger on social and mainstream media— many sectors are repurposing their businesses that revolve around sustainability.
We have heard ‘biomass,’ ‘sustainable growth,’ ‘green energy,’ etc. for quite a bit sometime now.
But what exactly are they?
Do they really solve the problems? Or do they trade-off one issue by creating another?
Will they answer all the questions that make working people go on roads marching against the system, or are they just a few other hyperboles that will fall flat on their faces?
We’d look deeper into the subject with the help of hemp-biomass.
Yes, that’s right.
Hemp Biomass— a slow but vital sustainable response in the hemp B2B industry— is also known for taking this cause to the next level.
Before we dive into the actual details, let’s get our basics right for hemp products.
How does the traditional hemp industry work?
The image of the traditional hemp industry in the environmental department hasn’t been that great.
For centuries, the hemp farming technique has been under environmental scrutiny because it drains on energy and water resources.
Moreover, the hempers, the people involved in the hemp industry, are already too caught to think anything about sustainability and optimization.
The stigma that layers around hemp and its sibling marijuana also make it difficult for people to cope-up with the varying laws.
So, they end up fighting for their rights throughout their lives rather than working on the actual problem, which is, to generate energy from the organic hemp matter.
The waste matters of hemp that include leaves and stalks and unhealthy flowers are dumped without a second thought.
The piled-up hemp waste is either disposed of in the ocean or burned down.
What could become a limited but a decent source of energy is overlooked, and the cumulative effect is unthinkable over the years.
That’s not very good imagery that the hemp businesses have created so far.
But hemp biomass brings a fresh air of renewables— an entirely new industrial set-up that processes and repurposes these residues.
What is hemp biomass?
Have you ever crafted a pencil holder from a piece of a bottle or a guitar capo with the help of a pen and rubber band?
That’s optimal use of the resources you have around you.
Similarly, when you use the hemp waste into refining and producing products such as plastic, fibres, cloths, construction materials, and extracts— you actually define hemp biomass with such an act.
So, the definition of hemp biomass would be— “making the most out of waste.”
Some people call dry hemp matter as hemp biomass.
That’s not true.
Once essential chemicals like cannabidiol from plants and buds get extracted, the leftover is termed as hemp biomass.
The extract from the fresh flowers can have as large as 20 molecules of CBD in 100 bits of hemp.
Some plants have an even higher percentage of it.
That being said— the residue or the biomass is not wholly devoid of CBD.
Tests have shown these leftovers can have the therapeutic chemical as high as 12%.
So, if you are a budding entrepreneur, tighten up your shoelace for a long environmental-fight with the opportunity the hemp biomass bestows.
Is hemp flower biomass different from hemp fibre biomass?
Yes, hemp flower biomass and hemp fibre biomass have different objectives and end-goals— and they both serve their own purposes.
#1 Hemp Flower Biomass
If you have a natural inclination towards hemp flower biomass—— it means that you are eyeing at manufacturing health and wellness products.
Hemp flower biomass has high CBD-content, and you should go for it if you want to mint a colossal wad of green bills quickly.
Its extracts are extremely popular with a higher profit margin and can be considered as a proven tool in becoming an industrial giant in the short-term.
The businesses that deal with hemp flower biomass are already meeting the needs of a massive population in a short time.
#2 Hemp Fiber Biomass
If you have an intuitive lean towards nature and optimizing its waste products— Hemp Fibre Biomass could give you a chance to showcase your talent.
It has a long-term financial outlook, despite low-CBD content in the stalks and the leaves of the hemp waste.
You can call it an eco-friendly alternative for producing papers, plastics, and lightweight building materials.
Although it produces limited energy— something is better than nothing.
Its use also puts less burden on the trees, and our dependence on nonrenewable resources like fossil fuels.
Hemp fibre biomass can be a revealing prospect for long-term sustainable business outlooks.
Will hemp biomass create opportunities?
Is hemp biomass an opportunity for entrepreneurs?
It definitely seems so— provided we know how industries work.
Let’s just have a brief overview of how hemp industries operate.
Suppose you have a farming land.
You mainly cultivate and harvest hemp plants, and sell them to industries that make edible products from the primary hemp buds.
Since the industries deal with health, wellness, and edible products— their focus is mainly concentrated on shaping the best output.
And while doing so— they produce hemp residues.
So, we have two ways to go from here.
We either take the first route, which is environmental activism— and force these industries to shut down or set up new waste processing plants.
Or we take this opportunity as entrepreneurs and build our residual management plants to co-exist with these industries.
Usually, we follow the first trend where we regulate these companies to have their own waste management industries— which ultimately increases the overhead cost of the hemp products.
And that’s when the consumer is forced to pay 3X or even 10X the cost of the products.
In the worst case, we shut off these companies and snatch their licenses, thereby killing the product itself.
The second method talks of using this as an opportunity to grow along with the manufacturing industry.
It ensures that we have both— the hemp industry and hemp biomass industry working hand in hand.
The equipment to harvest hemp biomass
We need a different set of tools and workforce for hemp flower biomass and hemp fibre biomass.
Both depend on crop size.
FOR HEMP FLOWER BIOMASS (CBD BIOMASS)
- Hand tools like Machete, scythe, or shears
- Commuting Vehicle
- Drying location
- Hemp warehouse
- Processing equipment (Oil press, container, etc.)
FOR HEMP FIBER BIOMASS
- Hand tools like Machete, scythe, or shears
- Transportation Vehicle
- Hemp Warehouse
- Retting Location for soaking hemp in water
- Decorticator for stripping off hemp and extracting fibres
What are the steps to make hemp biomass?
Once the hemp flower industry is done with the extraction process— you can make hemp biomass from the waste.
The most effective way to have high-quality hemp biomass is by retting.
So, what’s the retting of hemp biomass?
Retting Hemp Biomass
Same as we do in the paper industry— the retting process produces hemp biomass.
Firstly, we shred the leftover stalks and leaves into fine bits.
Then we soak these materials into the water.
The molecular pressure from the water breakdowns the cellular membranes, thereby making the oatmeal consistency types of slurry.
The slurry is nothing but the hemp pulp.
Then we use machines to mask these pulps naked, and separate fibre from them.
The final biomass is stored in air-tight containers or plastic bags to prevent moisturization.
How do we carry retting?
We can perform retting in different ways— the most famous being— the natural water retting and the tank retting.
- Natural Water Retting
In this process, you take up your hemp bundles and place them in the natural streams of flow like rivers and ponds.
The process costs nothing.
To prevent your hemp biomass bundles from flowing away or bubbling up at the surface, make sure that you use proper weight to keep it inside the water.
The process is slow, and the usable pulp will get ready in 10 to 14 days.
- Tank Retting
Unlike natural water retting, you have a bit of control on the hemp biomass.
You create a controlled condition in the tank where retting takes place for almost a week.
The process needs a bit of a pre-setup but is too fast for the next batch of biomass installments.
The water in the tank is mineral-ful dense water, which can be reused in plants and crops as a substitute for chemical fertilizers.
Tank or natural water retting, you have to mandatorily dry and cure pulp for at least three days to extract all the moisture from the biomass.
- Bonus retting method (Dew Retting)
If your area lacks water resources, or if you don’t have enough water to carry any of the above processes— you can rely on dew retting.
It’s a process in which the hemp biomass is spread across the land, allowing air and moisture to get into it.
You have to maintain the process for at least 3 to 4 weeks to see the fruitful results.
Again, it’s not the best retting technique as its yield is not even close to water retting, but that’s one good way to use natural resources around you.
What are the downsides of Hemp biomass?
“To promote hemp fibre biomass— we will have to promote hemp flower biomass.”
What does it mean?
It means that hemp fibre biomass is not possible without having hemp flower biomass.
We have to encourage people to take up the hemp business VOLUNTARILY.
‘Voluntarily’ is a key term here.
If it’s not a natural process, or if people don’t accept it willingly— we will be producing more carbon dioxides than we already have.
Didn’t get it?
Let me explain to you with an example.
When specific industries are forced to not dump wastes in oceans and are regulated to establish new waste-processing plants— they end up consuming more lands, cutting more trees and producing more harmful gases.
Since they also have to bear the overhead costs— they fall short of production and fail to meet the overall demands of the customers.
So, we have to ask ourselves— is the hemp biomass industry being opted naturally? Or is it shoved from the authority?
The possible downside
Although hemp plants need four times less space than trees to produce the same resources— will it really cover the needs?
Are hemp-made houses strong enough to bear strain and stress from the natural calamities?
Do clothes and plastics naturally and efficiently get in the market? Or are they being pushed?
Anything that is pushed in the free market bears negative consequences.
So, is hemp biomass being throttled in the name of environment safety?
Do we have to shut other trees-operating businesses to sustain hemp?
If it’s yes— hemp flower biomass and hemp fibre biomass will always be in scarcity.
And scarcity will make the hemp products expensive.
Can you guess how and why did electric stoves replace coal gas?
Because electric stoves were proof of exceptional engineering that naturally got into the system, killing the older means of cooking.
Similarly, if hemp biomass doesn’t marvel out as a cost-effective medium to convert the needs, it might never succeed.
No matter how much the government pushes it— people have to accept it.
The data on hemp flower biomass and hemp fibre biomass clearly indicate that it’s a stream that’s being voluntarily picked up by people.
So, people who care about the environment are stepping forward to have a more efficient system.
The new bill farm of 2018 is one of the critical positives to take.
We are likely to see a full-scale production in the future.
Hemp biomass— does it make us future-ready?
Not if it can’t make it to our present successfully.
The more we learn about diverging hemp into different industries— the higher the chances that it will get into our lives so naturally that our future will already be secured.
It’s the reason why we are using hemp biomass to get carbon nanomaterials.
These nanomaterials can play as brilliant sources of energy, batteries, and other fuels.
The fact that the government is promoting hemp-plants and their biomass itself prove that we are heading towards a beautiful future.