Discovery Minerals LTD. is pleased to announce that the joint venture project, AB AGRO TECHNOLOGIES INC. (Herein “AB AGRO”), has been granted Licence No. 14-A0068-C-01 and is now authorized to cultivate industrial hemp by Health Canada.
AB AGRO has secured a supply of pedigreed Hemp seed from an accredited Health Canada seed provider in the Province of Manitoba. The CRS-1 cultivar, or variety, has been chosen for the inaugural growing season. AB AGRO has been advised by the Company’s agricultural consultants that the 160 acres being licensed will require a seeding rate of 23 lbs per acre for a total of approximately 3,700 lbs of Hemp seed. The typical seeding rate can commonly range from 20-40 lbs per acre depending on a wide array of variables. The 3,700 lbs of CRS-1 Hemp seed is expected to be delivered within 2 days and will be seeded as weather conditions permit.
The CRS-1 variety was chosen specifically for its high yielding, early maturity and medium height properties along with its exemption from mandatory THC testing analysis in the Province of Alberta. AB AGRO believes that these particular attributes will provide an abundant amount of harvested grain (seed for consumption), fiber and straw. The fiber and straw will be used as the cellulose bio-mass supply for the forthcoming ethanol fermentation pilot project with Syngar Technologies Inc.
Additionally Discovery’s previous press on May 01, 2014, provided the following information regarding their Joint Venture (JV) with Syngar Technologies.
A research study concluded that Syngar's PLUSWave technology increased ethanol production by an overall average of 26%. The PLUSWave technology optimized the conversion of cellulose to sugars and enhanced ethanol yield. The proposed pilot project will utilize an additional proprietary technology to reduce costs and speed the pre-treatment of cellulose materials to form a slurry suitable for fermentation into ethanol.
With the worldwide increase in demand for oil, concern over the environmental impact of the use of fossil fuels and the challenge of sourcing a sustainable crop to provide the cellulose needed for Bio-Fuel fermentation, hemp may very well be part of the solution.
Corn based ethanol is the Bio-Fuel most favored by current United States government subsidies for renewable fuels. Hemp is an improvement over corn-based ethanol on several counts: higher soil conservation, nearly non-existent herbicide & pesticide requirements, higher yields, and greater suitability for cellulosic ethanol production, as opposed to either grains or corn. When compared to other plant species of active interest in Bio-Fuel production, hemp derives 100% more cellulose than species under active investigation. Production costs for corn-based ethanol is nearly twice that of estimated production costs for hemp derived ethanol. Hemp and its related species provide denser cellulose content than corn, higher sugar content, and derive higher ethanol yields per metric ton at lower costs.
Hemp is found to be a superior cultivar for Bio-Fuel production. Hemp exhibits far superior ethanol yields per unit biomass compared to corn. Pretreatment is necessary to alter the cellular structure of the biomass at hand. Specifically, lignin presents a significant stumbling-block to the fermentation of cellulosic material. Pretreatment procedures are primarily aimed at breaking down lignin. The challenge of stripping lignin from lignin bound cellulosic plant matter is the primary complexity that must be overcome prior to the direct conversion of cellulose to ethanol. In conclusion, Discovery's JV pilot project intends to overcome these challenges and establish a new industry standard for the pre-treatment process of Hemp in Bio-Fuel production.