AUG 07, 2023 8:30 AM PDT

Study Shows Hemp's Effectiveness in Capturing Greenhouse Gas

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

A report produced by the German research organization nova-Institute found that hemp can store carbon dioxide (CO2) as efficiently as wood in raw materials. The report found that carbon removal through hemp is in a range similar to that for spruce, Douglas fir and birch trees. The CO2 amounts stored in hemp materials can potentially be used in the construction and insulation industry.

The report found C02 storage ranges to be similar both on a gross and net basis. Gross is the total carbon captured by hemp in the field. Net figures for hemp subtract any greenhouse gases generated from planting, harvesting, decortication and transporting hurd, fiber and dust. To gauge levels for wood, they examined account emissions resulting from debarking and transport to the next processing facility. The net Study Shows Hemp's Effectiveness in Capturing Greenhouse Gas

A report produced by the German research organization nova-Institute found that hemp can store carbon dioxide (CO2) as efficiently as wood in raw materials. The report found that carbon removal levels through hemp are close in range to removal levels of spruce, Douglas fir, and birch trees. Hemp's carbon sequestering ability is helpful in the construction and insulation industry.

The report found C02 storage ranges for hemp and wood to be similar on a gross and net basis. Gross is the total carbon captured by hemp in the field. Net figures for hemp subtract any greenhouse gases generated from planting, harvesting, decortication, and transporting hurd, fiber, and dust. To gauge levels for wood, they examined account emissions resulting from debarking and transport to the processing facility. The net carbon removal rates for hemp and wood vary between 5.5 to 11 tons per hectare.

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) is aware of the potential environmental benefits of hemp and promotes its use. The report suggests hemp can meet goals established under the EU's proposed carbon removal certificate framework. Using hemp to combat carbon emissions fits this framework which recognizes carbon benefits achieved through nature-based solutions and regenerative agricultural practices. 

The proposal discussed in the nova-Institute report offers a voluntary EU-wide framework to certify carbon removals. It establishes criteria to define high-quality carbon removals and the process to monitor, report and confirm the accuracy of these removals. It also aligns with the circular economy action plan of the EU that aims to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings by using organic building materials that can store carbon. Construction using carbon-capturing hemp may help the EU reach its goal of attaining climate neutrality by 2050.

Sources: Hemp Today, Nova Institute

 

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
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