Owing a huge debt of gratitude to Peter Dushop, the North American supplier of the Hempcutter we were able to test fresh stalks in the benchmodel. Without this critical piece of data, mobile ribbon decortication would remain a dream.
It took a plane trip to Prince George & a Hertz car rental to hand-cut the stalks to the length needed for the bench model- Then putting them into a hockey bag to check-in before flying back to YVR, then Langley for before the samples of Anka from Uniseeds could be tested. The weather couldn’t have been better as the trip went without a hitch, getting back to PG airport with a half hour to spare.
Not-so surprisingly, when the fresh samples (within 8 hours of cutting) were put through, the operation to peel them was a fraction of the energy required to peel dry, unretted stalks. “The goal is to now incorporate mechanical degumming into the design (which was confirmed viable in 2015) & begin to put all the pieces together, starting with a 1/2 scale prototype to trial next season’s crop.” Patrick Harrap, founder of Canfiber & inventor of mechanical decortication recorded early October.