Technical summary of the project.
The circular economy project VALSUCANEM investigates the valorization of hemp, a short fiber from hemp, in order to obtain an advanced green material for construction such as indoor flooring, wall tiles or urban furniture.
Objectives of the project:
The main technological objective of the project is to value hemp, a by-product of hemp currently discarded, by searching for a new green compound that allows obtaining advanced materials for construction such as interior flooring, decorative coatings or urban furniture.
Executive summary of the R&D project
The VALSUCANEM circular economy project will allow investigating the valorization of hemp, a short fiber from hemp, in order to obtain an advanced material for construction such as indoor flooring, wall tiles or urban furniture. In the energy and resources sector, the value of hemp cultivation will increase, reducing waste and extending the life of the hemp 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
Investigate the use of hemp seeds 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 reduce the resources currently used.
Technological challenges of the project
- Creation of a new green material. Obtain a green resin or binder material that can form a composite material compatible with hemp seeds and that can be recycled so that the production and life cycle do not generate by-products that cannot be reused or recovered. This challenge faces the obtaining of the composite material of sustainable type with short fibers.
- Definition of the characteristics of the new material. Achieve durability, resistance, stability and workability properties that allow reaching solutions in the typical construction sector: interior or exterior flooring, urban furniture, etc.
- Proof of technological concept. Conformation of the new green material for its application in the construction of pavements, coatings or urban furniture.
This project is within the framework of the circular economy as it aims to:
- Extend the life cycle of the hemp, giving it a use with a high added value.
- Reduce hemp crop residues by 15%, thanks to the recovery of hemp.
- It 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 for hemp to grow and, in addition, it involves a significant expenditure of resources in transport and in deforestation. On the other hand, hemp cultivation, apart from being fast, requires very few resources and allows to fix the CO2 from the atmosphere.