Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a private research university in Troy, New York say they have developed a hemp-based rebar reinforcing technology for cement construction, according to Hemptoday.net. According to their research team, they have found out a new way to use hemp as reinforcement within concrete structures. This switch to hemp could significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions used to produce the rebar. Although this technology is still years away from implementation, the promise is there.

One hurdle that hemp still needs to go over include the lack of infrastructure surrounding the material. The processing methods and equipment surrounding hemp are currently unable to proficiently produce the material in the abundance that would be needed for commercial use. On top of this, equipment on construction sites would have to be modified as to not damage the hemp rebar.

The research team says that preliminary studies of the material has shown strength characteristics like steel and great promise for the material. This research is one of the first new projects to come from the new Institute for Energy, Built Environment and Smart Systems at Rensselaer. “Rensselaer is pleased to be a partner in this exciting effort to develop and commercialize hemp as an industrial product,” said Robert Hull, acting Vice president for Rensselaer.

Expect to see hemp rebar in the foundations of new buildings within the next few years.

Read the unedited article here.

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