Aside from the many benefits of industrial hemp, this product is also said to help remove toxins and improve the condition of the soil. Thus, aside from being made into dozens of sustainable products, such as clothing and medicine, it’s also a great product that can help to mend the Earth
What is Bioremediation?
As population increases, so does our desire for more land to grow our crops from which we feed. However, our dependence on toxic industrial processes and fossil fuels has led to a land that’s too toxic to sustain life. This is where bioremediation becomes vital.
Bioremediation is a process that refers to the use of living things to treat the soil, which essentially means cleaning and reclaiming some polluted lands. Microorganisms and bacteria can also be used in bioremediation, and a process known as phytoremediation is also used, which relies mainly on crops such as hemp.
Hemp Soil Remediation and the Chernobyl Disaster
One of the most significant demonstrations on the use of industrial hemp was during the Chernobyl disaster. This nuclear disaster took place in 1986 and spewed radioactive wastes across the eastern part of Europe. During the late 1990s, a company decided to experiment with industrial hemp by growing the plant in some of the affected regions. The results are truly promising.
According to the scientists, hemp is no doubt one of the best phytoremediation plants that they have discovered. Phytoremediation has also helped remove the radioactive elements present in water and soil, especially at the weapon-producing facilities in the area.
Harvested Hemp Used as Biofuel
Although the hemp plants that were grown near the Chernobyl area cannot be made into medicine or food, these plants can be safely distilled to become ethanol and used as biofuel.
For instance, Belarus has conducted several experiments in growing hemp at contaminated soil to be used as fuel later on. By using hemp in creating biofuels such as ethanol, scientists believe that they will be able to take advantage of the hemp’s ability to remove contaminants from the soil. When growing hemp, the contaminants are removed from the soil and are trapped in the plants. Once the crop cycle is completed, the contaminants are entirely removed from the soil.
Hemp Can Save the Earth from Pollution
More and more farmers are now turning to hemp in their efforts reclaim their soil. For instance, in Taranto, Italy, a region known for their fine cheeses, has experimented with growing hemp to reclaim their contaminated soil. In 2016, the livestock in the region has been contaminated with dangerous toxins as a result of eating the grasses that were grown from the soil that’s been contaminated with lead and nickel.
Their experiment of growing hemp has been successful. In only five years, 100 farmers have decided to plant hemp in a 300-hectare land area. And although they can only sell the hemp fibers for now because the edible parts are toxic, each crop has made their soil cleaner and toxic-free.