The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) is working with a West Australian hemp producer, MIRRECO to speed up the production of hemp for a variety of uses.
Hemp has been proven to store carbon, improve soil condition, be useful in the production of a range of consumer products, while growing rapidly, with one season for the plant lasting 100-120 days.
MIRRECO has developed a mobile hemp processor, as well as product technologies which began with carbon storage.
Founder and CEO, Richard Evans, was alerted to the carbon storage potential of hemp when speaking with a farmer near Bath, UK.
“The farm owner had seen what we were doing, and invited me to his property, showed me hemp for the first time and said, ‘This is going to change the world’,” said Evans.
“We can use the biomass of the plant, the woody core and the outer fibre to create products. On top of that, the seed itself contains valuable oils that are used for medicine, as a food, and as a protein. The sheer potential of this plant is quite unrivalled.”
MIRRECO serves a growing hemp cultivating community in WA, which has 193 licenced hemp growers as of 2018.
For Evans, the next step of the business is to use processed hemp to create building products that are carbon storage, while providing useful materials.
“So, the flooring, walling, partitions and the roofing [are applications]. But on top of that, it is a very successful store of carbon with several performance characteristics that are higher than anything else on the market,” said Evans.
Utilising blockchain technology, the carbon stored in building products made from hemp can be tracked for carbon trading and offsets.