Hemp biofuel

Hemp biofuel

  • Hemp’s long history and the multitude of products that can be derived from this single plant have made it one of the most valuable and sustainable plants in the history of mankind.
  • For the pioneer biofuel industry, hemp provided the biomass Henry Ford needed for production of ethanol, before prohibition, during last century.
  • Over the last several decades, diverse lignocellulosic biomass has been studied for the production of biofuels and biochemicals.
  • Industrial hemp has great potential, with the increase of hemp-related markets including hemp seed, hemp oil and fibre, the importance of hemp biomass utilisation has also been emphasised.
  • Bast fibre crops:
    • produce the greatest amount of useable biomass, over the shortest period, for the least amount of water;
    • are a highly efficient mop crop and can use most types of waste or even brackish water;
    • for each tonne produced, absorb 1.7-1.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Each hectare of hemp can sequester about 22 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
  • Hemp crops are able to sequester more carbon than trees in a short 150 day season cycle and leave arable land available for food and other crops during the remainder of the year.
  • Hemp seed oil has been used in lamps for thousands of years, with historical links across many cultures.
  • Bio-diesel is composed of methyl and ethyl esters with any source of complex fatty acid used in its creation. Peanut oil, hemp oil, corn oil and tallow are used as sources for the complex fatty acids in the separation process.
  • Vegetable oils were used in diesel engines until the 1920’s when an alteration was made to the engine, enabling it to use a residue of petroleum – what is now known as diesel #2.
  • Thirty percent hemp seed oil is useable as a high-grade diesel fuel and could also be used as a machine lubricant and engine oil.
  • Plants are converted into pyrolytic fuel using a thermo-chemical process. Using the same technology as fossil fuels, conversion of plants into renewable energy is the most efficient method of producing charcoal, pyrolytic oil, gas or methanol.
  • Pyrolysis occurs whenever solid organic material is heated strongly in the absence of oxygen, e.g. when frying, roasting, baking, toasting.
  • The process also occurs when burning compact solid fuel, like wood. An ancient industrial use is the production of charcoal through pyrolysis of wood.
  • More recently, pyrolysis has been used on a mass scale to turn coal into coke for metallurgy, especially steel making.
  • Anhydrous pyrolysis can be used to produce liquid fuel similar to diesel from solid biomass or plastics.
  • Pyrolysis of wood for charcoal was a major industry replaced by coal during the 1800’s Industrial Revolution.

Original source: Biofuel and Recent advancement in Biological Conversion of Industrial Hemp for Bio-fuel and Value Added Products

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