Investigation of Canadian hemp cottonization using steam explosion technology

The overall goal of the proposed two-year project focuses on the development of textile fibres from Canadian grown hemp. In the first year, we will complete the characterization of the Canadian hemp bast fibres, obtained after different growing cycles, and compare them with the hemp bast grown for textile applications (e.g., collected from China and USA). We will establish the degumming process to produce cottonized hemp fibres. Cottonized hemp fibres will be produced from both Canadian hemp and the Chinese and American hemp using steam pretreatment/explosion and mild delignification process. The quality of the cottonized fibres will be assessed and compared with those produced in China and USA. In the second year, based on the comparison data obtained from Year 1, we will continue to assess various technologies, by optimizing the degumming process parameters and post-treatments, to improve the quality of the cottonized hemp fibres. The cost analysis of the proposed hemp cottonization method will be performed as well. The partner organization (Tentree) is a sustainable apparel brand that plants ten trees for every item of clothing sold, which is dedicated to being a Climate+ company. The success of this project will provide an innovative Canadian hemp cottonization model for use in their products. In addition, developing an opportunity for hemp fiber to be competitive with cotton (but with a smaller environmental footprint) provides a huge business opportunity for Canada and the local community.

Haishun Du
Faculty Supervisor: 
Jack Saddler;Feng Jiang
British Columbia
Partner University: