The Carbon Picture
Farming industrial hemp fibre can contribute significantly to reductions in atmospheric Carbon. Although yields in Australia are generally between 12 -15 tonnes per ha, where a hectare of hemp was irrigated with tertiary treated effluent water it produced approximately 22 tonnes of fibre. Yields are dependent on multiple factors including the cultivar planted, it’s origin, the quality and friability of the soil, sufficient nutrients and availability of irrigation or rainfall.
Industrial hemp is farmed at densities of up to 250 plants per square metre depending on the quality of bast fibre needed and the end use. It grows very rapidly ( 4+ metres in 90 – 100 days) and is one of the most efficient CO2-to-biomass conversion tools available, 5 x more efficient than agro-forestry. The carbon uptake of hemp can be accurately measured and monitored .
- Cellulose is 70% of stem dry weight. The carbon content accounts for 45% of its molecular mass.
- Hemicellulose is 22% of stem dry weight. The carbon content of hemicellulose is 48%
- Lignin is 6% of stem dry weight. 40% Carbon.
Solid state carbon is produced by the photosynthetic conversion of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Where hemp is sustainably farmed 1.3 – 1.6 kg carbon dioxide is stored per 1 kg hemp fibre. Industrial hemp fibre crops produce 10-15 tonnes of dry fibre per hectare. The harvested and dried stem yield is what is measured when assessing a crop’s carbon sequestration.
AHMC products lock up the cellulose rich Industrial hemp fibre or captured carbon, to form a carbon sink. The building material then continues to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as it slowly carbonates.