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OTHER APPLICATIONS OF FLAX AND HEMP

Paper products
Flax tow and paper-industry hemp fibers are used to make special papers like cigarette papers, paper for bibles, bank notes, technical filter papers, newspaper, cardboard and packaging. The paper industry accounts for 70% of the hemp market.

Biomass energy
Hemp and flax powders from the straw defibrating process are compressed and used to make briquettes. These 100% natural briquettes are produced mechanically, with no chemical additives. The potential applications are in biomass energy ( dual fuel industrial boilers), industrial-scale or agricultural methanation, composting and treatment of liquid effluents.

Litter for animals
Animal litter accounts for 70% of the chaff market. Hemp chaffs and flax shives are upgraded into litter for poultry and horses, because they are much more absorbent than straw ( 4 times more for hemp and 2.5 times for flax) and need to be changed less often.

Horticulture
Used as mulch mats for green areas, e.g along highways or for potted plants, these biodegradable nonwoven mats in flax or hemp felt constitute an effective and environment-friendly alternative to plastic sheets.

Advantages :

  • Low water and fertiliser consumption
  • Protection for young plants
  • Stable soil temperatures

Chaff of hemp and shives of flax are also used for horticultural mulch. They eliminate the need for manual or chemical weeding control and act as a screen to keep seeds from germinating. Their water absorption capacity cuts down on the need for watering, as the shives keep the ground damper for longer. The chaff's neutral pH is compatible with the pH of the soils, so as the chaff decomposes, it helps to enrich the soil.

Oleaginous flax

Oleaginous flax is grown differently from textile flax. Certain varieties are specific to each type (a desire for more seeds with oleaginous flax and more fibers with textile flax). Textile flax is grown in regions that have warm, damp summers (since it rets in the field) while oleaginous flax can be grown everywhere.

Most opportunities for oleaginous flax oil are industrial : paint, soap, detergent, special lubricants, floor coverings …

The residue from flax oil trituration is flattened into cakes for animal food. Due to its hydro-lipidity, oleaginous flax is known for its beneficial qualities. It contains polyunsaturated oils (Omega 3) and its use in animal foodstuffs presents a nutritional value for humans (it prevents cardiovascular problems) since food derived from animals fed on flax seeds (meat, milk, eggs) benefit those who eat them.

Hemp seeds

This grain is used to feed both animals and humans. By pressing hemp seeds, we obtain hemp oil.

Food

Hemp seeds contain approximately 25% proteins, 30% carbohydrates and 15% indissoluble fibers as well as carotene, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamins E, C, B1, B2, B3 and B6. They are nutritional because of their essential oily acids, high-value biological proteins and easy digestibility. We find them in muesli, pet food grains, fishing bate…

Virgin hemp seed oil, while sold discretely, has a good balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 plus a low amount of oily, saturated acids. This oil is used for seasonings, margarine and food supplements.

While taking precautions to make sure it doesn’t oxidize, flax oil, obtained by pressing oleaginous flax seeds, can be adapted for human consumption. It is exceptionally rich in oily, Omega 3 acids that make it a beneficial food supplement. Flax seeds have the same advantageous, Omega 3 linolenic acids and are used in breads, cookies or muesli and fed to livestock.

Paint

Following the initiative of flax oil (oleaginous flax), hemp seed oil is used in paint for its quick-drying properties.

Hygiene and Cosmetics

Hemp seed oil, like flax oil (oleaginous flax) is a component in soap, shampoo, bubble bath, creams and balms. Flax oil is used in cosmetics for its softening, soothing properties thanks to the rich polyunsaturated fats found in linolenic and linoleic acids.