Friday, April 24, 2009

Clever Hemp-Based Wood Replacement

Hemp is a fast-growing source of plant fiber that may help preserve the majestic forests of the world. Stanford University researchers are busy at work creating a very intriguing faux wood from hemp, combining a bioplastic called PHB with sheets of hemp fiber. The resulting wood substitute may also prove to be a plastic substitute!
The hemp-PHB biocomposite material has several characteristics similar to wood from trees, according to Craig Criddle, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, who collaborated on the project. “It’s quite attractive looking and very strong,” he said. “You can mold it, nail it, hammer it and drill it a lot like wood. But, bioplastic PHB can be produced faster than wood, and hemp can be grown faster than trees.” _Biomass
The age of advanced biomaterials is arriving at the same time as the age of advanced bio-fuels and bio-chemicals. Many technologies for turning biomass into plastics and structural fiber, can be used to turn biomass into fuels and high value chemicals.

Laws against the growth and use of hemp are just one example of the government's counterproductive meddling in the markets -- eventually resulting in depressed economies. The current Obama reich's meddling in energy markets is another fine example of government stupidity. Here's a novel idea: why doesn't the government concentrate on protecting its citizens from violence, fraud, and greedy, corrupt bureaucrats? The mainspring of human progress is the human spirit and human imagination. Big greedy government is the antithesis of an open and vibrant future.