Why Bamboo?

Moso bamboo shoot

Bamboo vs. Other Fiber Sources:  Poles Apart

Bamboo, nicknamed “Green Gold,” can be used for everything from a tasty food to elegant furniture.  As a perennial grass, it regenerates itself – and, if that isn’t compelling enough, it’s also the strongest growing woody plant on earth.  It is. . .

RENEWABLE:  yields 20 times more fiber than trees.

VERSATILE:  produces raw material fiber for infinite uses including flooring, furniture, clothing, bioplastics, energy and more.

SUSTAINABLE:  captures 5 times more carbon and releases 35% more oxygen to the atmosphere than a like-sized stand of trees.

LOW MAINTENANCE:  easily contained to desired areas through man-made barriers and pruning.

BENEFICIAL:  creates new industries and supports well-paying permanent jobs in existing industries.

From the Ground Up

The U.S. fuels the $60B global bamboo industry as the largest importer of bamboo products, but the U.S. is not currently capitalizing on this sustainable industry.  Resource Fiber is changing that by establishing the U.S. bamboo industry – from bamboo farming to product manufacturing – starting in the Alabama Black Belt Region, bringing long-term jobs and revitalization to the area.

Why Alabama? 

The Alabama Black Belt and surrounding region is an ideal environment for bamboo production – rich soil, mild climate, amount of annual rainfall, and available crop land found in the region are all conducive to abundant bamboo production.

For People and Planet

Moso bamboo plantlets

Resource Fiber is cultivating two varieties of bamboo – Moso & Rubro – which together will generate raw fiber with the potential to create thousands of products.

MOSO (Phyllostachys edulis), a timber bamboo, grows 2 feet per day reaching impressive heights up to 80 feet in just two months and will be primarily used for industrial products, building materials and other durable products.

RUBRO (Phyllostachys rubromarginata), a hardy bamboo, reaches a maximum height of 60 feet and will be used as a source of biomass to produce bio-composites, air and water filtration products, pulp, energy and more.

There are two main “types” of bamboo, as defined by the behavior of their rhizome structure. Running (monopodial or leptomorphic) bamboos possess a rhizome structure which will extend or “run” to provide opportunities for new culm growth. Clumping (sympodial or pachymorphic) bamboos possess a rhizome that does not travel substantially beyond the original planted culm.

Bamboo Facts

  • It’s a perennial grass
  • Plant once – may be annually harvested on a rotational basis for decades between three and six years depending on the species
  • Bamboo has greater compressive strength than concrete and about the same strength-to-weight ratio as steel in tension
  • Bamboo’s leafy canopy sequesters carbon and releases ~35 percent more oxygen than a comparable cluster of hardwood trees; in the renewing process, the plant takes the carbon from the air and holds it within its culm and root system – it is not released from the roots until the plant dies and soil in which the plant decomposes is turned
  • Requires limited resources such as water, fertilizer and pesticides
  • Excellent for rejuvenating degraded lands and protecting against soil erosion
  • In addition to the stalks or culms, the remainder of the plant may be used in rural livelihoods – shoots for food, leaves for fodder, and branches for items such as brooms and for firewood
  • Resistant to extreme weather

Bamboo flooring in flat
grain caramelized
Courtesy of Teragren bamboo

Growing industries

Industries will demonstrate leadership and vitality across many domains and sectors of business, including, but not limited to:

  • Agriculture (farming, agro-forestry);
  • Energy (charcoal, ethanol, pellets, biomass);
  • Building products (flooring, architectural panels, trusses & joists, furniture, worktops, engineered building components);
  • Food and beverage (animal feedstock, bamboo shoots, beer);
  • Water and air purification (biochar, carbon sequestration);
  • Bio-composites (alternative to petroleum-based plastics);
  • Transportation (automotive components);
  • Aerospace (aviation industry components); and
  • Specialty textiles (anti-bacterial applications for healthcare, bedding, clothing, towels, performance apparel).

For more information, contact us.