Technical summary of the project.

The circular economy project VALSUCANEM investigates the valorization of hempseed, short hemp fiber, in order to obtain an advanced green hemp material for construction such as indoor flooring, cladding or urban furniture.

Project objectives:

The main technological objective of the project is to valorize hempseed, a currently discarded hemp by-product, by searching for a new green compound that allows obtaining advanced materials for construction such as could be indoor pavements, decorative coatings or urban furniture.

Executive summary of the R&D project

The VALSUCANEM circular economy project will allow research into the valorization of hempseed, a short hemp fiber, in order to obtain an advanced material for construction, such as interior flooring, wall coverings or urban furniture. In the energy and resources sector, the value of hemp cultivation will be increased, reducing waste and extending the life of the hempseed by-product. And, at the same time, it will offer a solution for the extensive use of wood and other synthetic materials currently used.

Main motivations of the project

To investigate the use of hempseed in order to offer solutions to a product that is currently rejected with the clear intention of offering solutions that take care of the environment and allow to reduce the resources currently used.

Technological challenges of the project

  1. Creation of a new green material. To obtain a green resin or binder material that can form a composite material compatible with hempseed and that can be recycled so that the production and life cycle do not generate by-products that cannot be reused or revalued. This challenge faces the obtaining of a sustainable composite material with short fibers.
  2. Definition of the characteristics of the new material. To obtain properties of durability, resistance, stability and workability that allow to reach solutions of the construction sector such as: interior or exterior paving, urban furniture, etc.
  3. Technological proof of concept. Conformation of the new green material for its application in the construction of pavements, coverings or urban furniture.

The present project is within the framework of the circular economy as it aims to:

  • Extend the life cycle of hempseed, giving it a use with a high added value.
  • Reduce by 15% the waste from hemp cultivation, thanks to the valorization of hempseed.
  • Seeks to offer maximum efficiency in the use of resources, on the one hand, by reducing waste, but also by reducing the use of wood and synthetic materials. In the case of wood, despite being a natural product, its growth is very slow (years) compared to the 4 months it takes to grow hemp and, in addition, it involves a significant expenditure of resources in transportation and tree felling. On the other hand, hemp cultivation, apart from being fast, requires very few resources and allows CO² to be fixed in the atmosphere.