Hemp as fuel
Recently scientists announced that the loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic is now very likely before 2050, while it may disappear completely if carbon emissions are not curbed. Enter hemp! Hemp can be used to make the biofuels bioethanol and biodiesel and is the only alternative fuel that can run unmodified in any diesel engine.
In fact, Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the car itself was constructed from hemp.Hemp is just one of several crops with the ability to be turned into biofuel, with corn and sugarcane also popular in the industry.
The main selling point for biofuel is that it is sustainable and can be regrown and re-used, so long as there is space to grow the crops and facilities to convert it into fuel.
Hemp does have an edge over these crops, though, as it can be grown in most climates and conditions, has an incredibly rapid growth (up to approximately 4 metres in 100 days) and leaves the ground in a better condition when it is harvested.
So whether hemp is extracting toxic substances from the air or the soil, building cheap, sustainable homes or powering the vehicles of tomorrow, this miracle crop really does have the potential to improve our lives and maybe even save the planet.
What is Hemp Fuel?
Hemp can be used to make biofuels (the term given to fuels made from plants), called bioethanol and biodiesel. It can also be used as a fuel in a biomass power plant. Biofuels can be made by using both the fruit and grain of a plant or the fibres of the plants (cellulosic ethanol). Hemp is primarily used to produce cellulosic ethanol.
The process of converting hemp plants into fuel involves a number of steps. First of all, the harvested plant is shredded and heated with chemicals, so that the cellulose is released. Enzymes are then used to break down the cellulose into sugars.
Microbes are then introduced, to aid the fermenting process of the sugars – turning them into ethanol. Finally, the ethanol is purified and distilled, leaving the final biofuel.
Hemp could soon be the go to for making diesel fuel from a renewable plant source.
Turns out hemp can produce nearly four times as much oil per acre as the current favourite source of biodiesel, soybeans.
HEMP FOR FUEL ONE OF HEMP’S MOST DESIRABLE CHARACTERISTICS IS THAT IT CAN BE USED FOR THE PRODUCTION OF FUEL SOMETHING HUMAN LIFE HAS BEEN PREDICATED ON FOR MILLENNIA TO THAT END
Hemp, or industrial hemp (from Old English hænep), typically found in the northern hemisphere, is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products.
It is one of the fastest growing plants[ and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago.It can be refined into a variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.
Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp both derive from the species Cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique phytochemical compositions and uses.
TWO LIQUID FUELS CAN BE MADE FROM HEMP. THE FIRST OF THESE BEING BIOETHANOL AND THE OTHER BIODIESEL.
Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive effects.
The legality of industrial hemp varies widely between countries. Some governments regulate the concentration of THC and permit only hemp that is bred with an especially low THC content.