Hemp as a fuel source? | INFJ Forum

Hemp as a fuel source?

Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by Satya, Apr 13, 2009.

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  1. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Reasons why hemp could be an exceptional future fuel source...

    The (Hawaii Natural Energy) Institutes' 1990 report concluded that thermo chemical (pyrolytic) production of methanol from biomass is the most economical alternative for transportation fuel. They also confirmed Stanford Research Institutes' conclusion from the late seventies that woody or low moisture herbaceous plants are the most efficient biomass resource for thermo chemical conversion into liquid fuels such as methanol. It is the cellulose in low moisture herbaceous and woody plants that provides the hydrocarbons necessary for fuel production. ... Hemp is both a low moisture herbaceous and a woody plant.”

    It also has the advantages that it...

    1) doesn't need as much fertilizer or water as corn, switchgrass or other energy crops

    2) doesn't require the expensive drying required of corn and sugar cane

    3) can be grown where other energy crops can't

    4) is more resistant to “adverse fall weather” than other crops

    5) has long been known to be the lowest-moisture highest-cellulose crop.

    The hemp stalks being “over 75% cellulose” according to a 1929 paper from Schafer and Simmonds, with more conservative estimates indicating 53-74% of the bark being cellulose. According to the Stanford Research Institute and the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, it is woody, low-moisture herbaceous plants which make the best biomass for liquid fuels. If one goes beyond simple cellulose-level comparisons and examines the cost-per-gallon with these extra cultivation and processing and transportation costs taken into account, hemp seems to be the best candidate for a fuel crop. Of course, all crops should be grown in rotation – too much of one thing is bad for the soil – but hemp seems the best crop to add to the rotation if we want to replace fossil fuels with something else in the tank.

    In addition, hemp is not a food crop and would not result in food shortages around the world if it were selected as the mainstream energy crop.

    Source: http://hemp-ethanol.blogspot.com/2008/01/economics-history-and-politics-of-hemp.html

    Thoughts?
     
    #1 Satya, Apr 13, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  2. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    Only problem with hemp: its got a bad name.

    Wood is almost pure cellulose and is far less specific in its end use - fast growing pine trees are useful in the building industry as well.

    Bamboo is extreemely fast growing.

    I just mention alternatives to hemp, because fledgeling industries need as little controversy as possible to get off the ground. So while hemp might ultimately be a better plant to use, other plants are better for the alt.fuel industry right now.




    Edit, having read arbygils post below: the question now is whether removing the stigma of hemp is more pressing than the development of alternative fuels. If you push the hemp, it will probably happen, but the fuels industry will be set back at least several years.
     
    #2 Flavus Aquila, Apr 13, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  3. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    I like hemp. In fact, hemp milk is very tasty, and full of vitamins! Doesn't promote the munchies at all. ;) All the myths and hype about hemp is preventing it from becoming a viable resource in our troubled economy. I say why not use it as a biofuel.

    'Course to do that, you know everyone will fear that it means marijuana legalization. Crazy, crazy talk. Or we'll have everyone trying to sniff gas tanks for a pseudo high...:m129:
     
  4. OP
    Satya

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    In the free market sense, if hemp is the best fuel source, then its development should be a priority, otherwise it could spell a very large setback for other alt. fuel producers when it does become readily available as an option. Neither pine nor bamboo could compete with the versatility, speed of growth, and economic vitality of such a crop.
     
    #4 Satya, Apr 13, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  5. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Don't grow it in rotation, that requires too much land. Build a 70 floor building and grow it on every level in hydroponic set ups.

    The outside walls could be solar panels, with a watercatchment up top.
     
  6. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    It's a shame that one of the most versatile plants in the world is banned due to puritan short-sightedness.
     
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  7. Lucifer

    Lucifer Registered User #666

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    Fun Fact for the day,The declaration of independence of the united states was written on hemp paper.

    It is also suspected that the founding fathers smoked the Ganga.
     
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  8. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    My gut reaction to this is "...eh". I still think there are other ways to get fuel then from plant cellulose that we haven't found yet. But, if it is all we have, then let's go with it.

    But of course, it is what they do best!
     
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  9. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    It was written on parchment. The printed Dunlap Broadsides might have been on hemp paper, though.
     
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  10. TheLastMohican

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    Lest any citizen obtain more pleasure from a plant than he does from paying his taxes.
     
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  11. Lucifer

    Lucifer Registered User #666

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    I think it was the original draft or something.
     
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