The cannabidiol trade is booming. Produced by extracting non-psychoactive oils from hemp, the product is more and more gaining acceptance in its place therapy to quite a few well being challenges.
Virginia Tech researchers could have discovered one other use: a approach to make plywood stronger.
This previous summer season, undergraduate Emilie Kohler of the College of Natural Resources and Environment researched the opportunity of using one byproduct of the cannabidiol extraction course of—the jelly-like pectin that exists within the cell partitions of most vegetation—as a modifying agent within the manufacturing of wood-based supplies equivalent to plywood and structural composite lumber.
“Pectin is typically used in jellies and jams, because it has a natural tendency to form a gel which doesn’t flow,” stated Kohler, a senior majoring in sustainable biomaterials science. “I’m isolating pectin from hemp to analyze the flow properties to see if they can be used as a modifier in wood adhesives.”
Chip Frazier, the Thomas M. Brooks Professor of Sustainable Biomaterials within the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials and director of the Wood-Based Composites Center at Virginia Tech, indicated that the hemp trade is providing new avenues for researchers on the lookout for different organic supplies.
“Currently, the industry generates large quantities of solvent-extracted hemp flower, and all of that biomass is treated as waste, so it couldn’t be cheaper for us as a raw material,” defined Frazier, who supervises Kohler’s analysis. “They produce polygalacturonic acids, which have an unusual chemical structure, and I had the idea to check their behavior in the production of wood products.”
While the outcomes of the analysis are nonetheless being decided, Kohler famous that the hemp pectin confirmed promise.
“Pectin can be categorized as high methoxyl or low methoxyl pectin,” stated Kohler, a recipient of the school’s Victor Clay Barringer Endowed Scholarship. “Higher methoxyl pectin is used in jellies or jams because the sugar content allows it to gel. Lower methoxyl pectin, like those found in hemp, tend to gel with calcium ions, which are more common in adhesives.”
Kohler, who’s from Yorktown, Virginia, stated that she discovered her approach to the sphere of sustainable biomaterials by probability.
“In high school, I liked chemistry and environmental science, and when I was researching colleges and universities, I saw this listed and didn’t know what it was about. But when I got into classes I fell in love with the subject.”
Frazier, who’s Kohler’s assigned mentor, credit her dedication to a difficult main.
“Emilie is one of the few students who has taken the science track in sustainable biomaterials,” he famous. “It is heavy in chemistry, so she was particularly well-qualified to take on this research. She is very enthusiastic and very capable, and she’s done a great job.”
For Kohler, a summer season of isolating pectin was a chance to achieve a higher appreciation for the sphere of sustainable biomaterials, whereas having the prospect to contribute analysis in an rising space.
“Working with Dr. Frazier has opened my eyes and really taught me how to think about things on a deeper level,” she stated. “And it’s exciting to work in such a new subject: not a lot of research has been done on hemp, and this could be the start of something important.”
Alternative makes use of for cannabidiol bioproducts (2021, September 21)
retrieved 21 September 2021
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