by Steve Gillman
Hemp can be used to create furniture, roof tiles and even sustainable concrete. Image credit: Pixabay/ rexmedlen
A cutting-edge refinery is processing specially bred hemp and researching innovative new biomaterials that could help build future eco-friendly homes.
Hemp has some of the strongest fibres found in nature and was used for thousands of years to make clothes, ropes and ship sails. Then, with the invention of cheap petrochemical fibres, and later strict drug laws, hemp production mostly disappeared, until researchers figured out they could use it to make sustainable biomaterials, and even build houses.
‘Hemp is a multi-use crop,’ said Dr Stefano Amaducci from the Department of Sustainable Crop Production at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Piacenza, Italy.