Innovation provider

Institute of Natural Fibres


Department of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology; Department of Bast Fibre Plants, Hemp Breeding and Agronomy Laboratory; Wojska Polskiego 71B, 60-630 Poznań, Poland; Phone number: +48 61 845 58 00, Fax number: +48 61 841 78 30; e-mail: Website:


Dynamically developing industry and motorisation unfavourably influence various elements of the biosphere. The considerable role in soil degradation is played by heavy metals introduced with dust, smoke, sewage and industrial waste emission. The soil contamination by heavy metals belongs to the main environmental problems. The Institute of Natural Fibres has come up with an idea of alternative utilisation of soil – as an industrial raw material base, instead of the regular agricultural production resulting in the introduction of heavy metals to the food chain and thus affecting the human health. The cultivation of industrially utilised crops on heavy metal polluted soils gradually removes the metals from the soil and immobilises them, being the cheapest and the easiest method for remediation of the soil polluted with heavy metals. Finally, with this solution it is possible to keep farmers working on their farms and offer them a profitable source of income instead of simply banning the food production. Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) accumulates heavy metals and can be used for phytoremediation purposes. The fields of fibre crops cultivated at industrial scale can be situated in the regions with high soil and air contamination. Content of metals in the individual parts of plants depends on the species and genotypes. The contaminated hemp cannot be used for textile and food industry. Yet, high quality of fibres and hurds permits the usage for composites because fibres are not damaged by heavy metals. Efficiency of hemp phytoremediation depends on the content of heavy metals and pH value of the soil. Hemp has rather low phytoextractive potential. In the future the best solution will be cultivation of genetically modified fast growing plants with high tolerance to heavy metal accumulation. Nowadays in vitro culture selection has a great practical significance to obtain relatively fast and easily the plants resistant to contamination and suitable for phytoremediation.


The main problem of economic development is soil contamination by heavy metals. Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) accumulates heavy metals and can be used for phytoremediation of the polluted soil and replacement of food crops with industrial, non edible crops.

Innovative aspects (ecologic, social and economic)

Application examples




Current stage of development

Development phase – laboratory tested

Intellectual Property Rights

Secret know-how

Country of origin


Country of application



National Contact Point

dr Włodzimierz A. Sokół
National Contact Point for Eco-efficient Technologies and Management Systems
Central Mining Institute (GIG)

Plac Gwarkow 1
40-166 Katowice

Tel: +48 32 259 22 11
Fax: +48 259 22 11