Article by Bruce Ryan, High! Canada
The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance convention in Ottawa (Nov 13-16) went international this year. People from across North America and around the world attended. It was a great event in all ways. Over the four days, the 14th annual convention demonstrated how the shape and future of the industry is growing worldwide. Cannabis is here to change the world. There was a lot of discussion about the upcoming “legal” cannabis market in Canada, hemp farm operations and CBD production; as well as industrial applications and new technology. Canadian farmers are very interested in harvesting the leaf from their fields for CBD – which is currently stone cold illegal. All of this promises big changes in the community. It’s really the industrial sector that really attracts my interest: this has the greatest potential to change the future.
I was honoured to meet many of my heroes and innovators in the hemp sector. Some of these folks I’ve been talking to on the net for years. Other folks, I’ve known for two decades.
Bio Composites Group (BCG) from Drayton, Alberta showed off their composite manufacturing using hemp fibres. This company has developed industrial applications for several markets including bio-matting, car interiors, office panels and more. BCG is developing new products and new systems that impact industrial markets worldwide. An outstanding presentation of bio-design. They really should have been among the first on the lineup. They have done outstanding work commercializing industrial cannabis (hemp) fibre products.
Just Bio Fiber (JBF) from Calgary, Alberta were presenting their hempcrete block building system. Over the past three years, JBF has passed CSA standards to meet residential and commercial building codes. This is a block system that works like Lego© – each block locks into the next. They have developed a system that will construct R-40 buildings using the core “hurd” of the hemp stalks plus water and lime. This technology could be applied to every high-rise being built today. Their first showcase project is a beautiful 2 story home in Sooke, BC. The next project is a 5 story commercial building in Kelowna, BC. Fire-proof, structural and insect repellant, this system creates breathable walls that are carbon-negative. Over time, the buildings absorb additional CO2 and petrify…. lasting for decades – or more! In Italy, ancient Roman Era hempcrete buildings are still standing one thousand years later.
The crown jewel of the CHTAconvention is a hemp carbon battery prototype. Have you ever heard of a battery made from weed? Neither had I, nor anyone else at the event. This prototype uses carbonized hemp, graphite electrode and CBD isolates for conductive purposes for creating battery cells. The inventor developed a carbon hemp “foam” that will store energy. The image you see above has the prototype unit housed in a hemp “brick”. Brings up the possibility of walls that double as electrical storage. He was using his prototype to charge cell phones and tablets at the convention: 4.5 volts DC current. People were losing their minds. Checking in with my other friends, no one has heard of this either. No lead. No cadmium. No lithium. No gold nano-wire. This is a clean, bio-based battery source. Doing a bit of research on the net…. preciouis few results on carbon based batteries or storage systems. Exotic materials like sodium-ion, aluminum graphite or gold nanowires. There is work going on with graphene systems based research.Expensive. Hemp carbon: Pure genius! This has the potential to revolutionize the battery sector on a global basis.
What’s more, the hemp carbon foam developed for this project will also work like a filter to purify contaminated water. It acts like an aggressive carbon filter binding impurities to clean the water. If you pass DC current across the carbon, this filter will also desalinate seawater. Clean drinkable water from the ocean. Imagine solving the fresh water problems in countries around the world with pure hemp technology. Imagine purifying any water source using pure hemp carbon filters and gravity. This is another revolution. Every other system I’ve seen is expensive, energy intensive, extremely high tech or is pure nonsense. (sorry) We’re here to change the world.