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Mobile Hemp Decorticator: Hemp Processing Made Easy?

Due to the cost of transporting hemp material to decortication facilities, it is difficult for farmers to monetize industrial hemp biomass for production purposes. Mobile decorticators eliminate transportation costs and thus substantially increase the plants’ profitability.

Additionally, there is a significant shortage of hemp processing facilities across the U.S. Mobile decorticators enable farmers and processors to access and segregate different hemp products according to their quality and use. Some leading mobile hemp decorticators operating in the US include Power Zone , FormationAg , 6ix Hemp Inc , Pure Hemp , among others.

A Dive into the Industrial Hemp Decortication Process

• A decorticator is heavy machinery designed to strip outer layers of harvest from seeds, small shrubs , plants, and trees.

• Once hemp matures, the harvest is done by cutting the stalks , either manually or using machinery.

• The outermost part of the plant is what is used to form industrial-grade hemp products. An industrial decorticator must be used to strip the outer, soft and fibrous part away from the inner tough and heavy core.

• Fiber stalks are fed to a decorticator to separate fiber from hurd. The processed fiber is then sold and transported to manufacturing plants that convert it cloth and other products.

• Decorticators use grinders , rollers, blades, and other tools for separation of the outer hull, or cortex, from plant materials .

A Major Transportation Issue

• Industrial hemp has multiple uses in the textile industry. The global market for industrial-grade hemp is set to reach a value of $26.6 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 34% . As of 2019, Asia and the Pacific is the largest producer.

• The vary reason hemp is desirable for industrial purposes also makes it difficult and expensive to process. It is both sturdy and heavy which increases transportation costs and is another reason the fiber processing industry has been unprofitable for American farmers .

• These costs make it undesirable for farmers to transport the plants to decortication facilities, even when facilities are only 100 miles away.

How is mobile hemp decorticator changing the fiber processing landscape?

• Mobile hemp decorticators are enabling farmers to get their crops processed closer to the source.

• Until recently, mobile decorticators were hand-fed , rendering them inefficient.

• New, mobile decorticators that cost up to $2.5 million can dramatically increase capacity, processing 10 tons per hour . These truck bound decorticators provide additional economic benefits to the farmers as well.

• Decortication service providers will evaluate different grades of product and quote the farmer prices for the different quality levels, allocating fibers to the textile or construction market.

• Mobile decorticators also enable distribution companies and farmers to move inventory faster and in a more streamlined way , which can help maintain profits.

• Additionally, mobile machinery enables farmers to characterize and understand the type of fibers being harvested at a farm.

• In the US, due to lack of CBD extractors and fiber processors , some farmers are planning to enter the extraction business themselves.

• In 2019, Paragon Processing launched the largest industrial hemp processing facility in the US. The company offers complete seed-to-shelf solutions , including hemp processing, extraction, distillation, manufacturing, storage, isolation, THC-free processing , third-party laboratory testing, and selling as private and white-label goods .

What is the need for Mobile Hemp Decorticators?

• The US retail market for hemp products is worth $700 million but is dominated by imports of seeds and fibers from other countries. The hemp market is currently limited due to a lack of processing facilities .

• In the US, industry support for suppliers, processors , and purchasers of industrial hemp is associated with drug prohibitions and complex state-regulations.

• Currently, there is a low number of hemp decorticators available in the US. Further, many units are either hand-fed or are located in China, Europe , Australia, and a few other places.

• Profits generated from selling hemp fibers are either signifigantly reduced or eliminated when shipping on trucks for a distance of more than 100-miles .

• Hemp processing with mobile decorticators enables farmers to get the fiber-layer free from outer shells.

• A mobile processing unit helps farmers avoid the extra shipping cost for outer shells and inner hurds ( woodier core ) associated with transportation of whole stalks to bigger decortication sites.

How are hemp fiber processors dealing with high processing costs?

• Mobile hemp decorticators minimize shipping costs by processing plant stalks into the fiber at the source .

• As solution to the hemp fiber processing problem, mobile hemp processing companies are touring 20-states in the country to offer processing services for farmers at their farms.

• In 2018, mobile hemp processing companies started setting up the farmers market to process hemp harvests in the Northeast, Midwest , and West regions of the US.

• Mobile hemp decorticator companies evaluate the quality of the harvest , quote price to farmers, and sell it to customers directly.

• The hemp processors are able to process hemp according to different use and supply it to customers directly. For example, some buyers require hemp fibers for making cordage and automotive parts , while others require hemp hurds to make hemp blocks and hempcrete .

• 6ix hemp Inc. provides comprehensive mobile decortication services, from onsite decortication to sales and focuses on regional production and distribution. These services are provided at 3 different price points and levels depending on farmer contribution that varies from 50% — 70%.

Mobile Hemp Decorticator: Hemp Processing Made Easy? Due to the cost of transporting hemp material to decortication facilities, it is difficult for farmers to monetize industrial hemp biomass for

High Throughput Hemp Processing – Mobile or Stationary

Hemp Oil Processing

The hemp oil market has burgeoned recently in the US and has found itself competing with traditional indoor grows for CBD production. Mobile and stationary oil production facilities are now being built all over the world to deal with growing CBD demand.

There are several peculiarities about hemp extraction that warrant exploring. Both indoor and outdoor approaches can produce large amounts of CBD oil and both have unique requirements and associated costs.

The most striking difference between indoor vs. outdoor is that there is no perpetual planting and harvest with an outdoor grow. Just one big honking planting/harvest that requires big planters/harvesters, big processing equipment, big storage facilities, big inventory, and big everything else.

Both indoor and outdoor are laborious. In terms of processing, because the biomass is so voluminous, it is also important to be able to processes large amounts quickly and with high throughput.

Throughput vs Volume

There is a common misconception in the industry that larger volume extractors will give higher throughput.

Is this true? You make the decision: In reality, larger equipment requires major infrastructure, lots of power, significant square footage, and requires special installation equipment such as a crane.

Furthermore, the equipment is typically quite loud. Large diameter extraction columns generally give poor mass transfer and channeling within the tank is horrible. Other scientific fundamentals are completely ignored by the purveyors of large equipment and if properly understood, would inform a completely different approach.

A better engineering approach takes into account the science of extraction and indicates smaller machines with more frequent changeovers. If you do the math, these systems will outperform larger systems by factors of 10x or more.

For example, extraktLAB® recently introduced its 80L supercritical CO2 extraction system that can output approximately 600g/hr of oil on 12% material. This vs. a typical 100L system that will do 50-60 g/hr.

80L Extractor Outperforms on Footprint, Energy, and Throughput

extraktLAB® is proud to announce its 80L system based on the same footprint of its popular 110+ model. This is striking because its footprint is only 23 ft sq.

You will need an additional 12 ft square for the chillers which are not on board this unit like with the 110+ unit. You can have the chillers in a different room or place them next to the unit. You can compare this to the large room + large utilities room you need for a 100L.

If you have ever had occasion to stand next to an operating 100L system, you immediately notice the noise level. With our 80L, you could run it in your office and still have a call on the phone. The machine is quiet.

In terms of a compressor, the 80L machine can use a bottle of compressed air or a small pancake compressor that you can obtain from Home Depot. The compressed air runs the valves. In contrast, large and loud three phase compressors are used with most 100L systems.

In terms of portability, this system can be rolled into a trailer. You will need a 200 amp, three-phase generator available from many different purveyors at reasonable costs. If required, we offer single phase units. These generators can also be rented.

Here is a comparison chart showing some of the similarities and differences between our different models of extractors:

extraktLAB® MODEL 100 110+ 140 180
General
Footprint (ft 2 ) 22.5 22.5 22.5 22.5
Weight (lbs) 850 1200 1800 2700
Sound Pressure 40db 40db 50 db 50 db
Compressor N/A N/A N/A N/A
Casters Yes Yes Yes, Stabilizers Yes, Stabilizers
Onboard Cooling Yes Yes No No

Give us a call at 651-600-0036 or complete our contact form below for more information about extraktLAB’s extraction solutions.

Information on high throughput hemp processing, includes mobile or stationary options. Hemp toll processing introduction using supercritical co2 extraction.