Today biofuels such as ethanol and methanol are on the rise. Ethanol is made from grains, sugars, starches, waste paper and forest products; and methanol is made from woody/pulp material. Using processes such as gasification, acid hydrolysis and enzymes, hemp can be used to make biodiesel and both ethanol and methanol.
1. Hemp biodiesel – made from the oil of the
(pressed) hemp seed.
2. Hemp ethanol/methanol – made from the
Today we are seeing oil wars, peak oil prices, and climate changes from greenhouse gas emissions. We have also seen many oil spills, such as the BP spill in the gulf a few years ago. This is why it’s more important than ever to promote sustainable alternatives such as hemp ethanol. Hemp turns out to be the most cost-efficient and valuable of all the fuel crops we could grow, and it’s easy to grow on a mass scale that could fuel the world.
There are some questions surrounding the reasons for hemp prohibition. Many believe that oil companies realized early on that hemp biofuel might be a competing fuel source and threaten their oil production.
What is Hemp Biodiesel?
Hemp biodiesel is the name for a variety of ester based oxygenated fuels made from hemp oil. The concept of using vegetable oil as an engine fuel dates back to 1895 when Dr. Rudolf Diesel developed the first diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. Diesel demonstrated his engine at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 using peanut oil as fuel.
Pressing hemp seeds and extracting the oil make hemp biodiesel. Hemp crops that are domestically grown can be a renewable resource for biodiesel and possibly the answer to our need for renewable fuel sources... and it’s environmentally friendly.
Below are reasons why hemp biodiesel is a good alternative:
• Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel that runs in any conventional, unmodified diesel engine.
• It can be stored anywhere that petroleum diesel fuel is stored. Biodiesel is safe to handle and transport because it’s as biodegradable as sugar, 10 times less toxic than table salt, and has a high flashpoint of about 300 F compared to petroleum diesel fuel, which has a flash point of 125 F.
• Biodiesel can be made from domestically produced, renewable oilseed crops such as hemp.
• Biodiesel is a proven fuel with over 30 million successful U.S. road miles, and over 20 years of use in Europe.
• When burned in a diesel engine, biodiesel replaces the exhaust odor of petroleum diesel with the pleasant smell of hemp, popcorn or french fries.
• Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel in the U.S. to complete EPA Tier I Health Effects Testing under section 211(b) of the Clean Air Act, which provide the most thorough inventory of environmental and human health effects attributes that current technology will allow.
• Biodiesel is 11% oxygen by weight and contains no sulfur.
• The use of biodiesel can extend the life of diesel engines because it is more lubricating than petroleum diesel fuel, while fuel consumption, auto ignition, power output, and engine torque are relatively unaffected by biodiesel.
• The Congressional Budget Office, Department of Defense, US Department of Agriculture, and others have determined that biodiesel is the low cost alternative fuel option for fleets to meet requirements of the Energy Policy Act.