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“SmartBox” is a complete and portable solution for treating the whole plant cannabis

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An international team has developed integrated portable hemp processing technology that can benefit the entire hemp plant while supporting economically challenged communities and helping mitigate climate change through renewable agriculture.

SmartBox, a stand-alone processing system that fits into a shipping container, is by London-based e-HempHouse, a partnership between British entrepreneur Peter Miles, US-based engineer Andy Neal, and Zambian agricultural specialist Stephen Potter.

The system, which Neal created, was developed by a team at Binghamton University in New York, and is scheduled to be deployed and tested during the summer of 2022.

Multi-part processing

SmartBox includes a husk remover to separate hemp stalks into fibers and wood, and seed processing equipment for food products; The unit incorporates oil-squeezing technology for hemp seed oil which can feed an internal generator that acts as a power source to support irrigation, cooling and lighting.

Peter Miles

Miles said his team is also working on developing alternative fuel options, and that the small rolling mill is designed to draw power from the unit’s built-in solar panels.

The company is also working on a methodology that allows eHempHouse to sell carbon credits either directly to partner companies or through voluntary carbon markets; This system will include live feed that tracks carbon dioxide based on the weight of the hemp harvest processed through the Smartbox system.

The data collection system tracks meteorological information and soil data.

Miles said the company has conducted extensive on-farm testing of individual process components in New York and is looking to raise up to 1.5 million pounds (1.8 million euros / 2.0 million dollars) this spring to produce the first two units in the United States. . One will be sent to Zambia and the other will be a truck-mounted unit for showing in North America, Miles said.

Miles sees strong market potential in the UK and other parts of Europe where farms tend to be smaller. Most importantly, the mobile unit can bring growth to rural communities facing economic challenges in other parts of the world.

Zambia project

eHempHouse will demonstrate capabilities in a 2023 pilot project planned with the Zambian government in each of the country’s 10 provinces. Ten smart boxes will be used to treat the 100 hectares of cannabis planted in each province.

The company already owns a 1,000-acre farm in Zambia where it teaches renewable agricultural practices to local farmers, communities and charities, and imparts knowledge and skills in organic farming techniques.

SmartBox was in the 2021 Cleantech Open accelerator program, and Miles gave a presentation on the technology at the COP26 conference in Glasgow last November.

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