Ribbon Decortication

Hemp fiber, although legendary in the plant kingdom has not provided much competition to petro-chemical based fibers to date. Why? To obtain fiber of the quality to compete is cost prohibitive. Not anymore! Canfiber has developed a system that controls the fiber quality to ISO9001 standards. The owner of a hemp farm need only call us to obtain our instruction booklet that outlines the systems parameters (fertilizers, seed rate, ideal time to harvest).

Canfiber seeks to work with a hemp grower to fulfill its vision of providing high-quality technical fiber for less cost than fossil-based ones on the market today (and make a great deal of money in the process). To this end, Canfiber will harvest their crop for free & PAY them $100 per tonne for the leftover stalks. A negotiated short-term lease will be made to use a portion of their field to process the fiber & bag the hurd. Canfiber will stockpile & grow with the market with an IPO if the pilot is successful.

Check out our first white paper on this important topic; Ribbon Decortication paper

Here are Canfibers steps to decorticating dual-purpose (seed & fiber) hemp fields;

– To keep costs down, a 14′ wide self propelled windrower would be modified to simultaneously harvest the seed heads (delivered through center onto slide) with a lower cickle bar & slide that discharges to the side. Chen, Y. and Liu, J. 2003. Development of a Windrower for Dual-purpose Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) provides the basis for the modifications.

– Two windrows are left in the field to dry & allow the seeds to ripen, increasing yields by 30% while simplifying drying prior to siloing. The fiber is baled using a Claas round flax baler & brought to the edge of the field (or offsite) under cover where it would await processing.

– Infrastructure for the mobile processor includes an ATCO trailer (office, WC, lunchroom), a pre-fab modular storage built to cover all the bales, bale unwinder & 40′ mobile trailer with processor inside. The processor would require a minimum of 1 operator to guide the roll onto a moving table where it would feed into the decorticator. The commodities obtained from processing are ribbon fiber & chipped hurd which are taken elsewhere for further processing into technical-grade fiber & pelletized hurd, or just sold.

Canfiber’s RD technology exploits the high tensile strength of the outer fiber, allowing for a low energy footprint to operate the system. The machine does not have many parts & is therefore less expensive to build & maintain. Designed to fit inside a standard containerized trailer, it becomes a key piece of farm machinery when combined into a complete system. When everything is factored into the equation, including overhead the ROI is staggering;

  • Highly nutritious seed ($0.65-0.95 per lb; average 800-1200lb per acre) !
  • CBD oil obtained from mulch (residue from seed harvesting) Value not available at time of publishing. 
  • Chipped hurd ($0.10-0.25 per lb; average 6400lb per acre) !
  • High quality, hurd free fiber ($2.25-$5 per lb; average 2400lb per acre) !

Designing a piece of equipment that can handle the shear volume of stalks was no easy task & required the coming together of very bright individuals to help see this through. Thank you all for your contributions in making RD technology a reality!