A New Zealand firm says it has developed technology to separate hemp fiber and cellulose fresh in the field. The machine, the Clarke D8 decorticator, was developed by Hemp Farm NZ Ltd, Waikato, NZ. The company said in a release that recent field trials were successful.
Named after its late inventor, Adrian Clarke, the machine is a cost-effective alternative to traditional hammer mills used in the decortication process – often multi-million dollar machines that separate the fiber by forcefully pounding the hemp stalks.
The Clarke D8 machine costs a fraction of the price of a hammer mill, and farmers can use their land immediately after harvest, the company noted.
In development for 20 years, Hemp Farm said the tests this harvest season included stressing the machine to the breaking point. A team of engineers identified points of weakness which were then re-engineered.
Hemp Farm works with farmers, researchers and environmentalists developing programs for health, ecological housing and environmental restoration.