Hemp Processing and Equipment

Commodity Traders International can help you accomplish processing needs from de-awning to hulling and seed separation.
Hemp is a flexible commodity that branches out into countless other industries.
Support for the industry is blooming and our threshers, air screen cleaners, sizers and gravity separators are the perfect fit for your hemp processing and conditioning needs.


Seed Harvesting (Threshing)

Threshing is the process of removing seeds from the plant and breaking up remaining plant materials (e.g., flower, stems and leaves). The dry buds attached to the plants are rubbed or crushed to release the seed and break down the plant material. 

This step facilitates the subsequent separation of the seeds from the plant materials in the seed-cleaning process. Threshing may be done by hand or machine, depending on the scale and type of seed to be processed.

Cleaning and Counting Seed

After threshing, generally the first machine used in seed cleaning is an air/screen cleaner. This machine uses air as a first pass to remove light or fine material. The next phase involves mechanical screening. Screens with various hole sizes are commonly used to separate seeds based on size either by hand or by machine. Commercially-available seed cleaning screens are categorized (by width of holes) in the US in increments of 1/64th of an inch. For example, a #6 screen has openings that are 6/64 inch in width. 

Screens are used to either permit the crop seed to pass through the screen (collect and discard material larger than the seed that does not pass through), or to retain the crop seed on top of the screen and permit smaller-sized materials to pass through and be discarded. Most screens have round holes, but some specialized screens are made for particular crops (e.g. oblong openings). 

These machines hold one or several interchangeable screens. The machine can be set up to perform multiple screening functions in one pass. For example, the first screen may retain larger chaff, with the second screen retaining the seed, and the third and smallest screen allowing smaller debris and small seed to pass through. One of the challenges with hemp seed cleaning involves small sticks and stems that pass through the screens with the seed.

To remove them, the most effective machine is an indent or length grading machine. This machine uses a cylinder with small pockets that pick up the round seed as the cylinder rotates. The sticks and stems do not fit into the small round pockets; therefore, they slide down the length of the cylinder and drop off into a separate bin. The good seed is lifted into a trough and discharged into its own chute. The machine pictured above is somewhat unique in that it combines the air/screen cleaner with the indent separator, allowing the entire cleaning operation to occur in a single pass through the machine.

Gravity Separation

Cleaning seed by differences in specific gravity is one of the oldest seed cleaning techniques. On the simplest scale, seed and materials are dropped before a wind source

The heavier materials fall while lighter materials are carried further from the away. On a small scale, this is an effective method to quickly clean seed. On a commercial scale, these machines use air to stratify the bed of seed, lifting the lighter seed to the top while allowing the heavier seed to drop to the bottom.

This separation not only removes light impurities, but it also separates out the lighter, immature seed that is much less likely to germinate. The heavier mature seed is driven to the upper edge of the deck.