From car interiors to well drilling, kenaf plant brings promise to biobased products

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In Thailand, kenaf has been around for thousands of years, can be harvested in just a few months, and is one of the most absorbent natural materials in the world, making its use in a wide range of products ever-increasing. The kenaf plant’s usage has expanded beyond its natural fibers and as a composite material to include biofuel, a replacement for oil-based materials, and more. Toyota uses it in 27 of its vehicles for automotive interiors thanks to its sustainability and light weight functionality which is key to improving vehicle fuel consumption.

The U.S. Department of the Navy studies have also shown that kenaf is one of the world’s most absorbent natural materials. According to The ASEAN Post, “US-based Hemp Inc. has introduced a kenaf and hemp-derived well drilling product, DrillWall, to seal the hole around drill bits to prevent the drilling lubricant from leaking into cracks or other porous formations in the earth around the drill hole. Securing long-term contracts with American oil field drilling and production companies, Hemp Inc. has also sold samples of DrillWall for testing to global giants such as Saudi Aramco, the Kuwait Oil Company, Pemex (Mexico), Petrobras (Brazil) and ConocoPhillips, among others.”