Biorefinery Technology Developer PureVision To Pursue Industrial Hemp Biorefining—Creates PureHemp

March 12, 2015

Media Contact:
Vincent Dipas, Agency 33 (303) 591-7919

Company Contact:
Casey Ives, Dir. of Business Development (303) 857-4530

FORT LUPTON, Colo. – March 12, 2015 – PureVision Technology, Inc., a Colorado-based biorefinery technology developer, announced today that it has formed a subsidiary company to promote and develop industrial hemp biorefineries.

The subsidiary, PureHemp Technology LLC, has obtained exclusive rights to the PureVision biorefining technology for processing industrial hemp into traditional and never-before-produced products.

On behalf of PureHemp, PureVision is conducting a robust pre-commercialization program—using its laboratories and pilot plant and a milestone-based approach – to target a path to profitable commercial-scale hemp biorefineries.

PureVision’s patented refining technology takes in raw biomass – like corn stalks, wheat straw, or, in PureHemp’s case, industrial hemp – and produces sugars, pulp, and lignin for making hundreds of bio-products. PureVision’s process has advanced from proof of concept, to bench scale, to an operating one-half-ton-per-day continuous pilot plant at the company’s Fort Lupton headquarters.

The company has processed many different biomass feedstocks for global clients, most recently conducting initial trials on industrial hemp.

“The PureHemp initiative offers new business opportunities for farmers, end-product manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and investors,” said Carl Lehrburger, a PureVision and PureHemp cofounder.

“The PureVision technology offers an entirely new way to process industrial hemp into consumer and industrial products,” he said.

“In Colorado, Oregon, and the 19 other states permitted to grow industrial hemp, we’re seeing increasing awareness and interest by farmers and skyrocketing demand for hemp-based products. Emerging products include food supplements and sweeteners, specialty chemicals, papers and tissues, plastics, lightweight composites, and the many other products that can be sustainably made from the hemp plant.”

Presently, nearly all the hemp seeds, oil, and fiber imported to the United States are from countries like Canada and China.

Current practices of cultivating and harvesting industrial hemp result in significant underutilization of the whole plant. The traditional applications of industrial hemp are fiber for rope and textiles, pulp for paper, and seeds for oils for food products and animal feed. Once fiber and seeds are removed, the remainder of the plant is often underutilized.

PureHemp plans to revolutionize the existing global hemp industry by uniquely converting more of the plant to value-added raw materials and products. New products that can be produced from industrial hemp include beverages, plastics, chemicals, and sweeteners.

“The emergence of a new generation of hemp products, along with the U.S. trend toward legalizing industrial hemp cultivation, are driving forces behind the creation of PureHemp,” Lehrburger said.

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About PureHemp Technology
A wholly owned subsidiary of PureVision Technology LLC, PureHemp Technology LLC’s mission is to commercialize PureVision’s biorefinery technology for converting industrial hemp to sugars, lignin, pulp, and many hemp-based products. Industrial hemp is the world's premier renewable resource, approximately four times richer in biomass/cellulose per acre than nearest rivals: corn stalks, sugarcane, kenaf. The 2014 Farm Bill allowed pilot programs of hemp cultivation by universities and agencies in states where hemp is legal: 10 at the time including Colorado, and now 21. The bill defines industrial hemp as Cannabis sativa L. “with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis." By contrast, marijuana—a variety of the same plant—has THC levels of five to 20 percent. Canada lifted its ban on industrial hemp in 1998; now, a billion-dollar industry there and a growing piece of worldwide annual production, approximately 123 million pounds in 2014.

About PureVision Technology
PureVision Technology, Inc. is developing an advanced biorefining technology platform for converting nonfood biomass - straw, corn husks, industrial hemp - to biomaterials like sugar, pulp, and lignin for producing bio-based consumer and industrial products. Bio-based products from PureVision sugars include ethanol, polymers, and biodegradable/renewable plastics. Value-added co-products from the unique PureVision lignin biomaterial include carbon fiber for making lightweight composites. Nonfood biomass, or cellulosic biomass, refers to wood, grasses, or the inedible parts of plants. Cellulose and lignin are the most common organic (carbon-containing) compounds on earth. Based in Fort Lupton, Colorado, PureVision Technology was founded in 1992 to develop technologies for refining cellulosic biomass. The company remains privately held and is led by its three founders: Ed Lehrburger, Richard Wingerson, and Carl Lehrburger.

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