The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has invested in a project designed to improve insulation made from hemp fibers, Marijuana Moment reports. The DOE awarded Hempitecture and its COO Tommy Gibbons a $90,000-per-year stipend and as much as an additional $200,000, the report says.
Hempitecture manufactures a hemp wool product that is highly thermal resistant, has a low carbon footprint, and is described as “the most sustainable, high performing insulation material on the planet.”
“The Department of Energy is interested in the decarbonization potential of insulation and other building materials made from hemp fibers.”—Gibbons to Hemp Build Magazine
According to the DOE project description, Hempitecture “plans to conduct research and testing on new, proprietary blends of its insulation material to improve its insulation value and fire resistance” and improve “onshore insulation manufacturing using industrial hemp waste from American farmers.”
Looking to fulfill a campaign promise by President Joe Biden (D) to use more clean energy and reduce carbon emissions, the DOE said, “an emphasis on healthy and low carbon building materials has sparked a search for solutions from consumers and government to rebuild better infrastructure and reduce the massive footprint of the built environment.”
This is just the latest push into the hemp space by the federal government. In April, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded 24 grants through its small business innovation research program. One of the grants was awarded to Earth Merchant, a Washington-based hemp brick manufacturer. In 2019, the agency awarded a $12,000 grant to a student-led research team at the University of California, Riverside studying industrially relevant renewable fiber for construction.
The Moment also reports that a group of allies of ex-President Donald Trump (R) seeks to use hemp bricks from a Kansas-based hemp firm to build a privately-funded wall along the US-Mexico border.
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Lukas is a freelance writer and medical cannabis activist who lives in Tacoma. When he’s not writing about cannabis or working to bring a better medical cannabis system to Washington, he likes to DJ, play adaptive sports and volunteer in his Tacoma community. He supports national legalization and the opening up of the medical cannabis market in all 50 states.