Hemp takes root in the EU

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In Europe, a European Union-funded project is making headway on improving the quality of hemp and advancing its adoption.

Led by Stefano Amaducci of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, the MULTIHEMP project is using genomics to improve hemp productivity and raw material quality.  “Working from the level of molecular genetics through to end-product demonstration, our ambition was to develop an integrated hemp-based biorefinery in which improved feedstock is efficiently processed to provide fiber, oil, construction materials, fine chemicals and biofuels, using all components of the harvested biomass,” Amaducci tells Before Its News.

The group has developed new hemp lines with modified fiber characteristics and an evaluation system to identify fiber strength and processability. In addition, one of MUTLIHEMP’s  small business partners, the Fédération nationale des producteurs de chanvre, released a new commercial hemp variety.

Commercial, hemp-based products that have come out of the consortium include a flock insulation system produced by Ventimola and fiber boards and a hemp-based wall concept by CMF Technology. CMF spin-off Greentech opened industrial plant to produce hemp-based building materials in November 2016, while cosmetics companies are exploring cosmetics applications for hemp oil.