Farming Kenaf in the Mississippi Delta
In 1997, the Brasher family started Kengro Corporation to market and sell products made out of Earth’s most absorbent natural fiber: kenaf. They began growing kenaf in Charleston, Mississippi, after an uncle of Brent Brasher's visited Thailand and came back raving about a “wonder fiber.”
Initially, a Mississippi State University collaborative was formed to study the use of kenaf in pulp paper production. When that market essentially crashed with the rise of computers, other uses for kenaf were discovered by the group.
27 years later, the World is using using kenaf for many purposes--and yes, we still think it's a wonder fiber.
Here is a general Q & A regarding kenaf fiber.
What is kenaf?
Kenaf is a fiber plant native to east-central Africa, where it has been used for both food and fiber for the last several thousand years. In fact, Kenaf was grown in Egypt over 3000 years ago and is a close relative to cotton and okra. In addition to being the most absorbent natural fiber on the planet, kenaf is also hydrophobic (it does not absorb water). This combination is rare, and makes kenaf the perfect solution for any setting in which one would like to absorb harmful chemicals without also absorbing water (think BP oil disaster of 2019).
What all can kenaf be used for?
Historically, Kenaf has been used for rope, twine, bagging, and rugs. It has also been used for paper, pulp, other fiber products, engineered wood, insulation, soil-less potting mixes, and packing material. In our company alone, we have used kenaf for reptile bedding, cat litter, and erosion mats, and in numerous oil absorbent products.
What is Kengro’s primary use for kenaf?
We use Kenaf in our premiere product, Kengro Biosorb. Biosorb is a100% natural, biodegradable oil absorbent product that can be used in the oilfield, on water, for industrial purposes, and for home and automobile spill purposes. While Biosorb is cut especially to maximize absorbency, we also produce pads, socks, booms, and pillows to combat oil spills in places the granular form is unwanted.
How does it work?
Say you have a spill on your counter that consists of water, coffee, and oil. You need the coffee and water, but you really cannot have the oil there. You don’t want to waste the water and coffee, so what do you do? Biosorb is like a magic rag that can absorb the oil and leave everything else untouched.
Biosorb does not absorb water, so on both land and water, Kengro products eradicate over 40 harmful chemicals while restoring an environment to how it was before the spill. While disposal regulations differ by state, Biosorb is all natural and biodegradable, so the cleanup process is essentially over once Biosorb is properly used. The natural kenaf microbes in Biosorb absorb and break down the chemicals so our beautiful planet can continue on--unfazed.
Biosorb works so well, one could say Kenaf was genetically DESIGNED for this purpose. Additionally, Biosorb is incredibly lightweight, and takes half as much product to get the job done as competitors. While any type of oil spill problem is very unfortunate, we are proud to offer the most Earth-friendly and fast acting solution around.
For more info on our products, please visit kengro.com.
If you would like to speak to someone personally, please call Alexandra 662.614.7722.
We consider ourselves oil absorbent experts, so we look forward to hearing from you and helping with all of your oil spill needs!!!