New research project launched looking at ways to produce energy from hemp processing waste

November 14, 2022 |

In Germany, residual and waste materials from hemp processing that have been largely unused so far are mainly leaves and blossoms, hemp hurds and hemp dust or extraction residues from hemp oil production. In the “HempNRG” project led by Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnützige (DBZG), these are to be put to a preferably energetic use in the production plant.

The project focuses on the insulation production process. In industrial hemp fibre production, high-quality natural fibres are obtained from dried hemp straw, which are used to produce ecological insulation materials. Hemp insulation materials are characterised by a better CO2 balance compared to conventional insulation materials such as mineral wool or polystyrene and offer the possibility of fixing CO2 in the insulation material over several decades. In addition to the main product, hemp fibres, the insulation manufacturing process produces about the same amount of cellulose-containing residues, only a small part of which is currently used economically and which could be either fermented, gasified or incinerated. Usable end products would be biogas/biomethane, thermal energy, process heat, synthesis gas or digestate products.

In addition to the preliminary studies of residue storage and treatment options necessary for further utilisation, the project will survey practical partners throughout Germany on possible potentials and organise workshops on the possibilities and obstacles in the energetic utilisation of production residues. The aim of the project, which will run until September 2025 and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, is to combine the results for a technology concept development and an ecological and economic evaluation.

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Category: Research

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