Monday December 10, 2018 0 comments
DENVER -- 9Fiber Inc., an agro-technology company, has won a 2019 Advanced Industries Accelerator program grant of $250,000 through Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade in the category of Advanced Manufacturing.
The company said the $250,000 grant will be used to further develop 9Fiber’s mechanical unit that will transform cannabis and hemp waste stalks into industrial and textile products using 9Fiber’s patented eco-friendly chemical technology.
“9Fiber’s mission is to awaken a lost US hemp fiber industry by transforming current waste stalks and stems from our cannabis and hemp industries into fibrous materials that can replace imported fiber currently used in nine different markets,” said Adin Alai, CEO of 9Fiber.
“Our patented technology uses a three-step process to cleanly separate fiber from the whole stalk segment to produce gum-free hurd and cottenized fiber. Our goal is to design a mechanical unit that can process 2 tons of stalk every 90 minutes, and we are grateful to the state of Colorado for recognizing the potential of our technology.”
Following the development of its mechanical unit, 9Fiber said it looks to stand up its first processing plant in Pueblo County. The county is identified as an opportunity zone and 9Fiber’s plant is expected to drive economic development through job and industry creation in Pueblo County in an effort to revive the hemp fiber industry.
9Fiber said its patented 3-step process creates two raw materials from the hemp and cannabis waste stalks and stems: cottonized fiber and gum & lignin-free whole hurd.
The materials are then used in the manufacture of products in 9 different markets: Bioplastics/injection molding, absorbents, semi-conductors, construction, paper, industrial, automotive, fuel and textiles.
9Fiber’s technology can be applied to both hemp and cannabis waste, giving the company a strategic advantage to deliver fibrous materials into their nine targeted markets.
“We’ve successfully proved that our technology can derive textile quality fiber from cannabis waste, which was never thought of as a fiber source,” said Alai.
“By creating end-use materials in a matter of hours, efficiencies emerge that have not existed in traditional mechanical processing. These efficiencies create higher quality products at a reduced cost which create opportunities to compete with other natural fibers.”
9Fiber is also not limited to any particular cultivar of hemp and is the only company that has successfully derived textile grade fiber from cannabis waste.
Any residual active substances such as THC or CBD that may be still be in the stalks are rendered inert in under two minutes while retaining all of the positive attributes of hemp: UV resistant, mold/mildew resistant, anti-microbial, and flame retardancy while being stronger than cotton.
“We are very thankful to Colorado’s OEDIT for believing in our technology, our team and our ability to execute on our vision,” said Alai.
“We are looking forward to establishing ourselves in Colorado, creating jobs, being part of the hemp circular economy and reviving a sector of this market that we feel is the future of this industry.”