Slide 1
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Thinking inside the Box

Traysrenew ProjectWhile hemp fiber is classically associated with being as a textile fiber such as for t-shirts, there are many other uses. Of course not all hemp fibers are textile grade, such as those that are the stalks from hemp seed crops. Consequently, a European research project is unpacking the properties of hemp into natural, renewable & biodegradable food packaging. And we’re not talking about rough burlap bags or paper forms. It’s a true plastic and is commonly referred to as bioplastic since it’s not derived from petroleum.

The Traysrenew project in the European Union (EU) was a multi-year project involving a consortium of manufacturers drawn from across the supply chain with researchers from Spain and England. The goal was to produce food trays for poultry products that are cost effective, renewable, and higher performance than their conventional counterparts which are made of Polystyrene (PS) or Polypropylene (PP). The food trays would be made from biopolymers which are derived from bast fiber plants including hemp and flax. The poultry sector was chosen due to its high volume, being that it produces approximately 11 million tons of meat annually in the EU, with an average per capita consumption of 50.6 pounds (23 kg) each year.

The interest on this kind of green packaging is being driven by both the industry and consumers. Manufacturers want lower costs and increased shelf life; consumers want fresh and safe food available in addition to products that reflect their values.

Technical challenges

Up to now, the use of biodegradable films for food packaging was considered limited due to poor barrier protection from environmental elements including: oxygen, water vapor, dust, light, and air, in addition to weak mechanical properties. The higher costs associated with the use of these materials has also been an ongoing issue.

Fiber-based hemp composites for packaging relies on both nanofibers as well as a specially derived powder that is mixed with other materials. Using a variety of methods the materials are mixed, compacted and melded — commonly by either heat or by letting the composite mix solidify.

Starting work in 2010, Traysrenew created and tested a thermoplastic tray and lid made of 85% biopolymers with 15% hemp / flax based microfibers. Testing showed this tray met all targeted industry performance standards.

As hemp fiber is known to have anti-bacterial properties, adding hemp to food packaging has the additional benefit of increasing preservation. However, technical details on these antibacterial properties are specifically lacking at the time of this writing.

Project results

The Traysrenew project touts their trays as having a shelf-life at chill temperatures of 10 days, which matches the typical sell-by date for how long poultry is displayed for sale inside a stores refrigerated display case. Poultry is considered to be easily spoilable by grocers, so anything that adds to the shelf life is welcome in the retail trade.

With this project, industry participants touted the economic benefits to manufacturers, the environmental benefits of using renewable and biodegradable packaging as well as the social benefits of increasing demand for fibers grown domestically on local farms.

It’s an open question as to when and if these trays will be adapted by the European food industry, but it’s likely. According to industry association European Bioplastics, a total of 700,000 tonnes of bio-based plastics were produced globally in 2010, and the market is projected to reach 1.7 million tonnes by 2015. 60% of these were used for packaging, making it the largest application of bioplastics. The growth rate for bioplastics is estimated at 22.5% a year.

Portland, OR — CRAiLAR Technologies Inc., which produces and markets CRAiLAR® Flax fiber The Friendliest Fiber On The Planet™, today announced that it has executed a letter of intent (“LOI”) to acquire a European fiber dyeing facility with more than thirty years of experience in the industry. The acquisition, which is subject to the entry into definitive agreements and prior regulatory approval, would establish CRAiLAR flax fiber production for the Company in one of the most prolific flax growing regions in Western Europe.

The facility is currently capable of producing in excess of 250,000 pounds of CRAiLAR Flax fiber per week with room to expand. Under the terms of the LOI, CRAiLAR will acquire the facility by retiring approximately U.S.$1.2 million of the vendor’s debt over a three-year period. Additionally, CRAiLAR will enter into a ten-year lease and option to purchase agreement on the building housing the facility with a renewal option for an additional ten years.

“We are thrilled by the prospect of having complete control of the CRAiLAR production process and, we believe, an immediate path to positive gross margin with no capital outlay,” stated Ken Barker, Chief Executive Officer. “Acquisition of this facility would accelerate our production timeline by six to nine months; eliminate construction risks inherent with a ‘green field’ project; and substantially reduce the capital required to achieve one million pounds per week of capacity. The plant is also is located in an area known for flax growing excellence, thereby providing an abundant source of feedstock, and ties in perfectly with our European flax fiber sourcing initiative.”

The proposed establishment of a CRAiLAR wet processing facility in Europe is in addition to the longer-term plan to establish a fully integrated CRAiLAR facility at the Company’s present site in Pamplico, South Carolina.

About CRAiLAR Technologies Inc.

CRAiLAR(R) Technologies Inc. offers cost-effective and environmentally sustainable natural fiber in the form of flax, hemp and other bast fibers for use in textile, industrial, energy, medical and composite material applications. Produced using a fraction of water and chemical inputs compared with other natural fibers, CRAiLAR Flax is the newest natural fiber introduction to the market in decades. The Company supplies its CRAiLAR Flax to HanesBrands, Georgia-Pacific, Brilliant Global Knitwear, Tuscarora Yarns, Target Corp. and Kowa Company for commercial use, and to Levi Strauss & Co., Cintas, Carhartt, Ashland, PVH Corp., Cotswold Industries, Cone Mills and Lenzing for evaluation and development. The Company was founded in 1998 as a provider of environmentally friendly, socially responsible clothing. For more information, visit

Editors note: Demand for natural fiber, especially those bound for automotive composites, is experiencing steady demand. Daimler-Chrysler plans to utilize locally available natural fibers such as Manila hemp, abaca (not to be confused with true cannabis sativa hemp) in the Philippines to meet demand. Daimler-Chrysler uses true cannabis sativa hemp in its Canadian and European production facilities.

Automaker Daimler-Chrysler has approved the use of Philippine abaca for the exterior lining of its class A cars, which include the Plymouth and the Mercedes-Benz, Daimler-Chrysler consultant Dr. Werner Muhlbauer told the Inquirer Tuesday.

Philippine abaca meets the standards of the firm and can substitute for the non-recyclable fiberglass used to line the cars’ chassis, he said.

“Daimler-Chrysler has decided to incorporate Philippine abaca for its composite materials for the exterior lining of its cars. It has the same strength as fiberglass, minus the weight,” Muhlbauer said.

Muhlbauer said he did the scientific testing of Philippine abaca with the help of the Leyte State University.

They are still studying if Philippine abaca can also be used for the cars’ interiors, he said.

“Daimler-Chrysler just wants an assurance that the quality and quantity of Philippine fiber could be sustained in the next five years,” he said. “We hope there would not be too much price fluctuations.”

Abaca fiber was the Philippines’ first top agriculture export.

It is used as raw material for cordage, rope, as well as tea bags.

Related article

DaimlerChrysler Corporation to Expand Use Of Natural Fibers in Automotive Components
Monday, July 17, 2000

Copyright © 2004, Inquirer News Service. All rights reserved.

National Research Council (NRC) technology could help clothe Canadian athletes at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, B.C. and help pave the way for a range of advanced products made with industrial hemp, such as auto parts and airplane fuselages.

Hemp Plant


A valuable crop since ancient time, hemp has been cultured with its seeds as food, and its fibres, strongest in the plant kingdom, for the production of rope, wagon cover, canvas and sailcloth. Hemp thrives in Canada’s cool climate and can be grown without the use of pesticides, fungicide or herbicides. Industrial hemp and marijuana both belong to the same species, Cannabis sativa, but each has been modified to have different characteristics, hemp for long fibres and fast growth, marijuana for its content of the psychoactive drug, THC. Industrial hemp contains next to no THC. In 1938, the cultivation of hemp was banned by Canada and the U.S.; however, in 1998, new Canadian regulations enabled the licensed commercial cultivation of industrial hemp. Present and potential uses for industrial hemp, besides clothing, are numerous and include: fabricated auto parts; biocomposite, geotextile, wood and paper products; foodstuffs; cosmetics; biomass for fuel, heat-insulation, etc. Industrial hemp absorbs carbon dioxide five times more efficiently than the same acreage of forest and can play a role in the strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Hemp Fiber Comparison

From top to Bottom
1. European enzyme-treated fibre
2. Chinese fibre
3. NRC enzyme-treated fibre

NRC recently entered into a collaboration with Vancouver-based Hemptown Clothing Inc., a manufacturer of hemp clothing that has promoted the idea of using hemp fabric for the uniforms of Canada’s 2010 Olympic team. Under the partnership, Hemptown will work with the NRC Institute for Biological Sciences (NRC-IBS) to commercialize NRC-developed enzyme technology for processing hemp fabric (enzymes are used widely in industrial applications for everything from pulp bleaching to meat tenderizers). The technology promises dramatically improved fibre quality (softer, whiter fabric) using environmentally friendly methods. The collaboration stems from work by Dr. Wing Sung, an NRC-IBS researcher and an expert in the use of enzymes for industrial applications.

“There’s no problem growing industrial hemp in Canada. Canadian companies are also effective in selling the finished hemp products. The problem is that Canada lacks the expertise and technology for processing,” Dr. Sung explains. Indeed, earlier efforts to build a hemp processing facility in Manitoba were unsuccessful. To ensure market success, a processing facility requires a low-cost and environmentally friendly processing technology that produces superior quality hemp fibres. Initial results from the enzyme technology reveal striking improvements in the quality and performance of hemp fibres using this approach. “We are now able to produce hemp fibre of higher quality than that produced in China and Europe,” Dr. Sung says.

Creating Business Opportunities

We would like to help our partner to make an economic impact as soon as possible. Hopefully, this will whet the appetite of other players to jump in and start using the enzymatic approach to process other parts of the hemp plant. With clean strong fibres made available by our process, we can stimulate the development of many different advanced products.
— Dr. Wing Sung, NRC-IBS

China, the world’s leading producer of hemp fabric uses chemical methods for processing, while producers in Europe have begun using cleaner biologically-based enzyme technology. Neither method produces fabric with the same whiteness and softness as cotton. As a consequence, most hemp clothing tends to be blended with cotton, a plant with a long history but which, from an environmental perspective, consumes far more resources than hemp. The goal is to produce hemp fibres superior to cotton in strength, durability, warmth and moisture-absorbance, yet with the same softness and brightness, via a non-chemical process. “We are excited about new possibilities for producing a home-made Canadian hemp-based fabric with the NRC,” notes Jason Finis, President of Hemptown.

Hemp Fiber Enzyme Treatment

From left to right:
1. European enzyme-treated fibre
2. NRC enzyme-treated fibre
3. Chinese fibre

The NRC-IBS team made a deliberate decision to work with a commercially-available enzyme rather than starting from scratch (a longer process) and has focused on optimizing the conditions under which this enzyme operates. For example, Dr. Sung has been studying the optimum operating temperature for the enzyme processing. In general, the higher the temperature the higher the activity level, but higher temperatures also mean higher energy costs for producers. Other adjustments have been made to pH levels to avoid damages to the fibres and the processing equipment. Dr. Sung notes that the use of enzymes for processing is well known, however, as this optimization approach demonstrates, improvement is possible. “It’s not a secret using enzymes, but there is still lots of room to establish your own unique opportunity to make the process work faster, better and cleaner,” he says.

Dr. Sung designed the NRC xylanase enzyme (Biobrite), widely used today for the production of bleached pulp, and is candid about the challenges faced by the team. “Environmental benefits are, of course, extremely important but if you are unable to produce something that will save money for the producer, the technology won’t fly.” Time will tell but initial results are encouraging.

Copyright © 2004, National Research Council Canada. All rights reserved.

Premium Crops Ltd, a specialist UK crop production company, has announced the closure of its hemp and flax processing factory located in North Wales.

The decision results from a combination of several factors, such as recent changes to the EU Common Agricultural Policy and continued delays in the establishment of sustainable markets in the UK for industrial grade natural fibres. However, increasing pressure from a landlord appears to be a major factor.

“We very much regret the decision as we continue to view fibre crops as a medium to long term opportunity, but the economics of maintaining the facility cannot justify further increases in costs at this time,” said a spokesman for Premium Crops.

The factory comprises a complete processing line for the extraction and cleaning of fibre from flax and hemp straw, together with fibre blending facility, fibre and shive baling and dust briquetting equipment. It is the largest facility of its type to have been built in the UK in recent years.

The complete processing line will now be sold off, either as a whole or as individual components, with the intention to remove all equipment by the end of July.

Copyright © 2004, Premium Crops Ltd. All rights reserved.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada — Proponents of a hemp-processing factory in Dauphin met with provincial officials Monday to present an updated business plan and secure financial backing.

The Parkland BioFibre hemp factory would process locally grown hemp straw into fibre products.

“We’ve identified the markets for both the bast [long] fibre and the hurd [short fibres],” says spokesman Don Dewar.

“We have prospective customers. One is a major supplier of hurds into the bedding market in Europe. It’s a French company, but it has a Canadian office and is looking at supplying the hurds into North America. The other is a company that recycles cardboard.”

Dewar says the plant would create 20 jobs and bring in $4 million a year for local hemp farmers.

Dewar and the Parkland Industrial Hemp Growers co-op want the provincial and federal government to kick in about $6 million, which would be paid back. Dewar says the provincial government is on board, but the federal government has no yet committed; he hopes to meet with officials from both levels of government within the next couple of weeks.

Dewar says they will not solicit investment from the general public until they develop a market and get support from governments and banks.

Copyright © 2004, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Burdekin district, Australia — It’s not every day you come across a grower whose crop will be harvested by a Japanese firm to go into computers and mobile phones.

But Andrew Saunders is such a farmer. He’s growing kenaf, a fibre crop, similar in appearance to industrial hemp.

Andrew was one of nine cane farmers in the Burdekin district who put his hand up to grow kenaf when he was told a foreign firm was keen to contract growers in the area.

And so far, everything is going well. In five months the crop is towering at two point five metres, and is expected to be harvested after Easter.

Depending on which way you look at it, Andrew is one of the more fortunate cane farmers. Having only been in the game for seven years, he’s never known a season with good sugar prices. This has encouraged him to try new things on a property with ample water, good soil and plenty of sunshine.

And he hasn’t stopped with kenaf — Andrew is also experimenting with companion planting soybeans with cane, to increase soil nitrogen and reduce fertiliser inputs.

He’s eagerness to experiment goes beyond the crops. His true passion is managing the best soil possible, leading him to use unconventional, but true and tried methods.

It’s this part of farming that fuels his love of primary production in an environment that’s unpredictable — and still returning low sugar prices.

Copyright © 2004, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

September 18-22, 2001, Shenyang City, China

Organized by:

  • Coordination Centre of the FAO European Cooperative Research Network on Flax and other Bast Plants and the Institute of Natural Fibres, Pozna, Poland
  • World Hemp Center
  • Shenyang Government
  • Tong Xin Intelligent Engineering Co.Ltd.
  • Shenyang Institute of Natural Fibres
  • Shenyang, China
  • Hemptex Trading Inc. Sp. z o.o. Poland

Under the Patronage of Liaoning Provincial Government

  • Uniford Enterprise Sp. z o.o Warsaw, Poland Liaoning University, Shenyang, China
  • Shenyang University, Shenyang, China
  • Liaoning Institute of Cotton & Bast Fibres

General Information

Conference Language: The language of the conference is English. The simultaneous translations English/Chinese will be provided.

Call for papers: Experts working in scope of bast fibrous plants (especially hemp in the field of bast fibres) agrotechnology, extraction and processing, textile and non-textile applications, marketing and trade are cordially invited to attend the event and submit proposals for oral or poster presentations.

Registration: Preliminary registration should be made with the enclosed registration by December 30. Please indicate whether and on which topic you intend to present a paper or poster.

The 3rd circular with an outline of the programme and final registration forms will be mailed in May 2001. The deadline for submission of abstracts by e-mail to the Institute of Natural Fibres is January 30, 2001.

Conference fee: US$200; for students: US$50

The special tourist sightseeing for guests and accompanying persons is predicted. The Shenyang is the capital of Liaoning Province PRC and the economic, cultural and commercial centers also the hub communications of the Northern China.

September is a Special Month for the Shenyang City “International Friendly Activities Month,” devoted to the events promoting the culture, economy, trade etc. So you will come to the Shenyang in a very special Period, being able to note the presentation of the abilities of this City and Province. (See

Preliminary Programme

International Conference “Bast Fibrous Plants on the Turn of Second and Third Millennium”, Shenyang City, China

18 September, 2001

19 September, 2001
Opening Ceremony, Scientific Sessions, Poster Session, Exhibitions
Fashion Show and Conference banquet

20 September, 2001
Scientific Sessions, Poster Session, Exhibition

21 September, 2001
Scientific Sessions, Poster Session, Exhibition
Summing up, Closing Ceremony

22 September, 2001
Study Tour and Chinese Royal Parade


  • Agrotechnology, Extraction and Processing of Bast Fibrous Plants (Especially Hemp and Flax) in West and East, Relationship between Cultivation and Processing of Hemp (and other Bast Plants) and Environmental Protection
  • Area of Applications of Bast Fibrous Plants:
    • Textile and Apparel Industry
    • Advanced Materials and Composites for e.g. Building and Automotive Industry;
    • Pulp Technologies and Equipment;
    • Food, Nutritive, Medical and Cosmetic Products on the Basis of Bast Plants
  • Economical Aspects

We invite you to attend the event in China.
Let’s joint us in Shenyang!

Proposals of the key-note lectures’ topics:

  • Newest Achievements in Hemp Breeding
  • The Long History of Harvest of Bast Plants – from Hand Harvest to Modern Machines
  • Hemp, Silk Blended Fabrics for Modern Apparels
  • Long Term Experience in the Usage of Bast Fibre Plants (Hemp) for Pulp and Paper in China
  • Hemp and other Bast Plants as a Source of Fibre for Reinforcing Environmentally Friendly Composites.
  • Hemp and other Lignocellulosic Raw Materials as a Source of Energy
  • Tropical Natural Fibres and their By-Products as a Source of Fine Chemicals

Central Organization

Institute of Natural Fibres (INF)
Coordination Centre of the FAO European Cooperative Research Network on Flax and Other Bast Plants
ul. Wojska Polskiego 71b
60-630 Pozna_, Poland
Phone: +48 61/ 84 80 061
Fax: +48 61/ 84 17 830

Organizing Committee

  • Prof. Dr. R. Kozowski – Network Coordinator, International Conference Chairperson
  • Mr.Chen YongXing,Vice Director Generul of Agriculture Department of the Government of Shenyang City
  • Maria Mackiewicz-Talarczyk, MSc – Network Secretary, INF, Poznan, Poland
    Wu Wei, World Hemp Center, Shenyang Tongxin Intelligent Engineering Co. Ltd., Shenyang, China
  • Mr. Tian Xin, Shenyang Tongxin Intelligent Engineering Co. Ltd., Shenyang, China
  • Chairmen of the FAO Network: Dr. M. Pavelek –AGRITEC, Czech Republic; Dir. M. Tubach – IAF, Germany; Dir. Albert Daenekindt – ABV, Belgium; Prof. Dr. S. Sharma, QUB, UK; Dr. C. Morvan – University of Rouen, France

Honorary Organizing Committee

  • Mr. Xu Wen Cai, The Secretary of Shenyang Committee of the Communistic Party of China
  • Mr. Yang Xin Hua, Vice-Governor of Liaoning Province Mr. Mu SuiXin, Mayor of Shenyang, The Government of Shenyang City
  • Mr. Li Bao Quan, Vice-Mayor of Shenyang, The Government of Shenyang City
  • Mr. Liu He, President of Han Dan Fa Da Textile Group Co. Ltd.

Conference Address

Hotel accommodation at Phoenix Hotel

Phoenix Hotel
109 South Huanghe Street
Shenyang City, China

The hotel has been specially selected for Conference attendees at special rates. The booking orders should be send to:

Tong Xin Intelligent Engineering Co.Ltd.
Fax:+86/24 82900311

Preliminary Registration Form

International Conference “Bast Fibrous Plants on the Turn of Second and Third Millennium”, September 18-22, 2001, Shenyang City, China

Please return before January 30, 2001 to:

Institute of Natural Fibres
60-630 Poznan, Poland
Fax:+48 61 84 17 830

and simultaneously to:

Tong Xin Intelligent Engineering Co., Ltd.
7/F. No. 8A ReNao Road
Shen He District, Shenyang, China PC:110014
Fax: +86/24-82900311

I intend to participate in the conference
I would like to give an oral presentation
I would like to give a poster presentation

Intended topic of the contribution/preliminary title:
Surname: ………………………………………………..
First Name: ………………………………………………
Title: ……………………………………………………..
Organization: ……………………………………………
Address: ………………………………………………….
Phone: …………………………………………………..
Fax: ………………………………………………………
E-mail: ……………………………………………………

Copyright © 2000, Institute of Natural Fibres. All rights reserved.

The 3rd International Symposium – Bioresource Hemp & Other Fibre Crops, begins this week, hosted by nova Institute in Wolfsburg, Germany. The event features an international group of speakers with vast experience with industrial hemp and other natural fibers.

Seminar Program

Wednesday 13 September 2000, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Moderation: Hans-Bernd Hartmann, Zentrum für Nachwachsende Rohstoffe, LZ Haus Düsse

International Development of the Hemp Industry Markets & Economy
10:00 – Opening Speech by Mayor Manfred Kolbe

10:15 – Michael Karus, nova-Institut, Hürth, Germany: Global markets for
Natural Fibres

10:30 – Sylvestre Bertucelli, CEAPC, Le Mans, France: Hemp in France and
Europe – Short and Long Term Expansion of the EU Regulatories / Inclusion of Hemp in the Major Crops

10:50 – Jean-Pierre Brunet, LCDA, Bar sur Aube, France: Requirements for the Hemp Industry Relating to the New EU Regulations and Present Market Demand

11:10 – John Hobson, Hemcore Ltd., Herts, England: Establishing a Viable Hemp Industry in the UK

11:30 – Jakob Veld, HempFlax B.V., Oude Pekela, The Netherlands: New Hemp products from the Company HempFlax

11:50 – Michael Karus, nova-Institut, Hürth, Germany: Study on Markets and Price Situation of Natural Fibres (Germany and EU)

1:40 – Bernd Frank, Badische Naturfaseraufbereitung GmbH, Malsch, Heinz Amolsch, Hock Vertriebs GmbH, Stutensee, Germany: Marketing for the product “Thermo-Hemp”

2:00 – Fred Bohndick, VERNARO GmbH, Gardelegen, Germany: Quality-management System for Industrial Hemp Fibres

2:20 – Markus Kaup, nova-Institut, Hürth, Germany: Marketing Concepts for Natural Fibres: Market Research, Strategies, Tools – Today and Tomorrow

2:40 – Gero Leson, Leson Environmental Consulting, Berkeley, USA: Status report on the Hemp Industry in Canada and the USA

2:55 Tanya Jobling, David Tay, Philip Warner, Australian Hemp Resource and Manufacture, Brisbane, Australia: New Tropical Industrial Hemp

3:15 Anton Holler, Deggendorf, Germany/Rumania: The Situation of the Cultivation of Hemp in Rumania in 1999

4:15 – Matthias Schillo, Treu Hanf AG, Berlin, Germany/Rumania: The Hemp-Project in Tisza-valley

4:35 Vito Mediavilla, Joachim Sell, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture (FAL), Zurich, Switzerland:
Market analysis for fibre products made from miscanthus, flax, hemp and kenaf in Switzerland

4:55 Ulla Eikard, PlantVision & Klaus Lindegaard, Aalborg University, Centre for Environment and Development, Copenhagen NV, Denmark: Strategy for hempbased products in Denmark – a contribution to sustainable development and Agenda 21

5:15 – Mathias Bröckers, HanfHaus GmbH Berlin, Berlin, Germany: Hemp for the next millennium – Three steps

5:35 – Robert C. Clarke, International Hemp Association, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Summary of a field survey of cannabis use in Yunnan Province, P. R. China 1995-2000

Thursday 14 September 2000, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Moderation: Francois Desanlis, LCDA, Bar sur Aube Varieties/Breedings, Cultivation & Harvest Breedings

10:00 – Olivier Beherec, FNPC, Le Mans, Frankreich: Breeding efforts by the FNPC and seed production by the CCPSC: new challenges created by the new EU regulatories

10:20 – Ryszard Kozlowski, L. Grabowska, P. Baraniecki, J. Tymków, B. Jaranowska, A. Polus, J. Kozak, Institute of Natural Fibres, Poznan, Poland: The effects of hemp breeding in Poland

10:40 – Sergey V. Grigoryev, N.I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry, St. Petersburg, Russia: Survey of some traits in VIR Cannabis collection

11:00 – Viacheslav Virovets, P. Goloborod’ko, Institute of bast crops of UAAS, Glukhov, Sumy region, Ukraine: The results of many years experiments on increasing fibre content in the stalks and creation of modern monoecious hemp varieties (Cannabis sativa L.) without physoactive properties

11:20 – Ivan Bócsa, “Fleischmann Rudolf” Agricultural Research Institute, Kompolt, Hungary: The past, the present and the future of hemp breeding

11:55 – Andreas Peil, Erika Schumann, H. Flachowsky, U. Kriese, M. El Ghani, M. Riedel, W. E. Weber, Institut für Pflanzenzüchtung und Pflanzenschutz, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Hohenthurm, Germany: Hemp as reintroduced research object of plant breeding

12:15 – Andrea Carboni, Claudia Paoletti, Vita Maria Cristina Moliterni, Paolo Ranalli and Giuseppe Mandolino, Istituto Sperimentale per le Colture Industriali, Bologna, Italy: Molecular markers as genetic tool for hemp characterization

1:45 – Michael Ebskamp, Marcel Toonen, Iris Tinnenbroek and Andries Koops, Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands: Optimisation of the agrofibre quality in flax and hemp by an innovative biotechnological approach

2:05 – Marcel Toonen, Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands: Hemp as raw material for novel industrial applications (HARMONIA)
Cultivation and Harvest

2:30 – Vito Mediavilla, Manuel Jonquera, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture (FAL), Zurich, Ingrid Schmid-Slembrouck, Alberto Soldati, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Department of Agriculture and Food Science, Institute of Plant Sciences, Lindau, Switzerland: A decimal code for growth stages of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.)

2:50 – Ildikó Iványi, Zoltán Izsáki, Agricultural University of Debrecen College of Water and Environmental Management, Department of Crop Production, Szarvas, Hungary: Influence of nutrient supplies and plant density on yield of fibre hemp

3:10 – Frank Höppner, Ute Menge-Hartmann, Federal Research Centre for Agriculture, Institute of Crop and Grassland Science, Braunschweig, Germany: Cultivation strategies of hemp for the use of fibres and oil

3:30 – Karen Krüger, Regional Institution for Agriculture of the State of Brandenburg, Cropping and Plant Production Division, Güterfelde, Germany: Several years investigations of hemp cultivation in Brandenburg

4:20 – Ernest Small, Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre, Research Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Canada and David Marcus, Natural Hemphasis, Toronto, Canada: Hemp germplasm trials in Canada

4:40 – Hannele Sankari, Agricultural Research Centre, Plant Production Research Crops and Soil, Jokioinen, Finland: Stem and fibre yields and fibre properties of selected fibre hemp and linseed genotypes grown in Finland

5:00 – Bengt Svennerstedt, Department of Agricultural Biosystems and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden: Fibre yield and quality of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in swedish experimental cultivation

5:20 – Mario Di Candilo, Paolo Ranalli, Giampaolo Grassi, Michele Diozzi, Istituto Sperimentale per le Colture Industriali, Bologna, Italy: Assessment of fibre hemp cultivars in various Italian environments

5:40 – Daike Lohmeyer, nova-Institut, Hürth, Germany: Harvesting techniques for hemp in Western Europe

Friday 15 September 2000, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Helmuth Harig, Faserinstitut Bremen
Fibre Separation Processing, Fibre Conditioning and Product Lines
Fibre Separation Processing and Conditioning

10:00 – Reent Martens, Landwirtschaftskammer Weser Ems, Jörg Müssig, FIBRE, Germany: Quality production of hemp fibre

10:15 – Pierre Poillet, LaRoche SA, Cours La Ville, France: New processing hemp lines

10:30 – Marc Wolpers, Temafa Textilmaschinenfabrik Meissner, Morgner & Co. GmbH, Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany: Preparation and blending of growing natural fibres for the use in technical products

10:45 – Gunda Morgenstern, Andrea Fritsch, VTI Thüringer Verfahrenstechnisches Institut für Umwelt und Energie, Saalfeld, Germany: Technological solution for the use of waste materials from hemp processing

11:00 – Rudolf W. Kessler, Robert Kohler, Gerhard Mayer, Martin Tubach, Institut für Angewandte Forschung (IAF), Reutlingen, Germany: New economical chances for flax and hemp by fibre upgrading

11:30 Vibeke Bohn, Kristina Vad Nielsen, Michael Søgaard Jørgensen, Department of Technology and Social Sciences, Technical University of Denmark, Bodil Pallesen, Department of Plant Production, The Danish Agricultural and Advisory Centre, Anne Belinda Thomsen, Plant Biology and Biochemistry Department, Risø National Laboratory, Denmark: Effects of chemical-physical pretreatment processes on hemp fibres

11:45 – Jens Dreyer, Institut für Angewandte Botanik, Universität Hamburg, Jörg Müssig, Faserinstitut Bremen (FIBRE), Germany: New horizons in natural fibre production: Retting hemp and nettle with enzymes

12:00 – Mario Di Candilo, Paolo Ranalli, Istituto Sperimentale per le Colture Industriali, Bologna, G. Mastromei, M. Polsinelli, Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e Genetica – Università di Firenze, Firenze, C. Bozzi & B. Focher, Stazione Sperimentale Cellulosa, Carta e Fibre tessili, Milan, Italy: Optimum conditions for microbiological retting of hemp in tanks

12:15 Gerard Pott, D.J. Hueting and J.H. van Deursen, Ceres B.V., Wageningen, The Netherlands: A commercially attractive method to reduce moisture sensitivity of ligno-cellulose fibres, without the use of chemicals
Technical Applications
Nonwovens and Composites

1:45 – Bodil E. Pallesen, Danish Agricultural Advisory Centre, Department of Plant Production, Aarhus N, Denmark: New invented mats from hemp and flax for i.e. insulation purposes

2:05 – Laurent Arnaud, E.N.T.P.E, Vaulx-en-Velin, France: Mechanical and thermal properties of hemp mortars and wools: Experimental and theoretical approaches

2:25 – Martin Snijder, Agrotechnological Research Institute (ATO-DLO), Department of Agrofibres and Cellulose, Wageningen, The Netherlands: Hemp and flax composite materials for the automotive industry

2:45 – Jürgen Knothe, Thomas Schlößer, DaimlerChrysler AG, Ulm, Germany: Development of natural fibres reinforced plastic-components in the automotive interiors resp. exteriors

3:05 – Günther Fischhaber, Audi AG, Ingolstadt, Germany: The use of self-regenerating raw materials for automotive equipment in terms of ecological orientation

3:25 – Thomas Koerner, Ingenieurbüro Naturfaser Consulting (NFC), Kirchberg, Germany: Production of technical jute (and allied) fibres made out of graded long jute in developing countries for manufacturing car components of the inside paneling
Pulp and Paper

4:35 – Peter Zistl, Naturfaser Technologie Ortrand, Ortrand, Germany: From hemp straw to pulp

4:50 – Dr. Axel Ritter, Natural Pulping AG, Winnenden, Germany: Economic and environmentally-friendly pulp production with the Natural-Pulping-Technology Bioplastics

5:05 – Wolfgang Stadlbauer, Zellform Ges.m.b.H, Prambachkirchen, Austria: Zellform a new biodegradable fibre material based on renewable resources Apparel Textiles

5:35 – Jan Marek, Pavel Gruner, Viktor Antonov, INOTEX, Dvor Králové n.L., Czech Republic: Green processing technologies of green fibre

5:50 – Elke Steffes, Schlafhorst Autocoro GmbH, Mönchengladbach, Germany: Renaissance of bast fibre spinning in Europe with the spinning of hemp fibres on the Autocoro rotor spinning machine

6:05 – Karl Macharowsky, ERPA AG, Munich, Germany: Comfort Linen – Natur vom Feinsten

Saturday 16 September 2000, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Morning session: Robert Gorter, University of California San Francisco/Gero Leson, Leson Environmental Consulting, Berkeley
Afternoon session: Robert Gorter, University of California San Francisco/Kirsten Müller-Vahl, Medical School, Hannover
Seeds and Oil

Proceedings for the four day event will be available from nova Institute online through the conference website.

Copyright © 2000, Vert Tech LLC. All rights reserved.

Offering Enhanced Occupant Safety, Cost Savings and Weight Reduction

By Lear Corporation

Gothenburg, Sweden — Lear Corporation (NYSE:LEA), one of the world’s premier automotive interior suppliers, has launched two new polymer materials to be used in some of Lear’s future offerings of interior trim products: door panels, pillars and trunk trim. With properties promising optimized occupant safety and cost saving potential, these ultra-lightweight and recyclable polymers could literally save vehicle manufacturers both weight and money. Because they are composed of natural fibres that are replenishable, the two polymers are also environmentally friendly.

The two innovative polymers, natural fibre acrylic and natural fibre polypropylene, have been developed at Lear’s Manufacturing Operation Division’s development center in Ebersberg, Germany, where materials development focuses on vehicle safety and weight reduction. Lear made the announcement on the new polymers at the VISE & VIBEX 2000.

“With these two new polymers, Lear is addressing key material needs for European vehicle manufacturers, who want to reduce weight while contributing to passive safety,” said Randall Carron, President — International Operations for Lear Corporation.

Natural Fibre Acrylic for Door Trim, Package Trays

This patent-pending natural fibre acrylic polymer has been developed for automotive door panel trim, package tray and trunk applications. A so-called “modular binder system” allowing stiffness and impact resistance to be varied according to need offers extreme flexibility for customers. The exceptionally lightweight properties of the natural fibre acrylic polymer also could make it suitable for a range of other automotive interior applications in the future.

“In our extensive testing we have reached a record low weight of 1300 g/m² — a weight savings of greater than 40% when compared to conventional injection molded substrates,” said Armin Schwaighofer, Material Development Engineer, Lear’s Manufacturing Operations Division in Ebersberg.

“The bending strength of this polymer has proven to be very high, which puts this polymer among the very best in the market right now. The fact that the material consists up to 70% of plant that regrow makes it an environmentally friendly way to use natural resources,” Schwaighofer added.

Selected after months of research, this unique formula of plant fibres and acrylics also offers an improved environment for production workers compared with glass fibre-based polymers.

Natural Fibre Polypropylene for Door Trim, Trunk trim

Natural fibre polypropylene is made from plants that can be regrown that are combined with polypropylene. In this natural fiber, Lear replaced the flax fibre with kenaf, hemp and jute. Additional improvements in mechanical properties were achieved with the use of coupling agents that improve the chemical bonding of fibre and polypropylene. This new material from Lear has superior elasticity, providing high impact resistance. This new “elastic” environment could mean improved occupant safety by eliminating potentially sharp edges caused by conventionally brittle panels that may fracture during an accident.

“Broken interior panels in accidents can sometimes be serious. Our tests have shown that, in an accident, interior door panels furnished with our natural fibre polypropylene are more ‘impact friendly,’” said Ulrich Probst, Vice President and General Manager, Lear’s Manufacturing Operations Division in Ebersberg.

Significant cost savings are achieved through the thermoplastic properties of the polypropylene, which allow the material to be reheated. A one-step process for manufacturing is possible whereby the natural fibre polypropylene is covered with the actual surface material in just one step.

Lear Corporation, a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, USA, is one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, with 1999 sales of $12.4 billion. The company’s world-class products are designed, engineered and manufactured by more than 120,000 employees in over 300 facilities located in 33 countries. Information about Lear and its products is available on the Internet at

Copyright © 2000, Lear Corporation. All rights reserved.