The Benefits of Using Hemp as an Alternative Fuel Source

Brief History

The first person who ever imagined using hemp as a replacement for fossil fuels was Henry Ford. He created a sedan which ran on ethanol that was one hundred percent hemp based. Henry also could see that utilizing the agricultural byproducts which most people considered waste was an inherent source for fuel creation. Ford was a green thinker by today’s standards and can be quoted as having said “There is fuel in every bit of vegetable matter that can be fermented. There’s enough alcohol in one year’s yield of an acre of potatoes to drive the machinery necessary to cultivate the fields for a hundred years.”

On his very own estate, Mr. Ford grew hemp which he used to create hemp gasoline as well as oil and various plastic composites. He intended to use the composite to fabricate car chassis as this substance was stronger and lighter than the steel which was being used.

Count The Ways Hemp Can Be Adopted?

There have been more ways than one would care to count, in which hemp has been the base. Everything from paper, food, textiles, fuel, clothing, hempcrete, fiberboard and those are just a couple of uses. Although modern society is not racing towards the use of vehicles that are powered by hemp, industrial hemp is finally making some news, especially when being used as an alternate source of energy. There are gradually more and more studies being conducted on the benefits of the low tetrahydrocannabinol strains found in Cannabis sativa. A keen interest is being taken in hemp for use as a biofuel, not only by universities but also by politicians and entire governments.

How Does it Work?

Studies have shown that hemp can be used to create bioethanol as well as biodiesel. In comparison with palm oil, corn, and sugar beet, this product is much more environmentally friendly. One of the main advantages of hemp is that it can grow virtually anywhere, and the soil in which it grows is left healthier than before it was planted.

It is very easy to grow hemp, not only does it grow quickly but also requires less fertilizer and energy. After planting it does not require additional chemicals to thrive, not to mention, it is also useful for offsetting the carbon footprint which fossil fuels generously produce.

Although frequently discarded, the cannabis seeds are what hold most of the natural oil of the plant which can be converted into fuel. According to researchers at the University of Connecticut, viable quantities are easily obtained from industrial hemp for production as biodiesel. A group of graduate students in Connecticut literally produced biodiesel from hemp, and it had a conversion efficiency rate of ninety-seven percent.

Advantages of Using Hemp as a Biofuel


Although there has always been a multitude of uses for the agricultural crop of hemp, one of its most valuable properties could be its use as a clean burning fuel. At this moment, most of the petroleum reserves in America are being depleted, and The US is purchasing fossil fuels from other countries.

Possessing a fuel source which can be grown at home nearly anywhere in any country, and is highly renewable would create a nation that is self-reliant on fuel plus dump bucket loads of money back into their economy.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and is being poured out into our atmosphere from our continued use of fossil fuels. According to Fortune, if this trend continues for the next fifty years or so, a global catastrophe could be awaiting the world as we know it.

Is that a risk we are willing to take? Or perhaps we should just grow an environmentally safe cash crop that has the ability to help remove the harmful carbon from our environment as well as create more jobs at home and produce our own fuel for pennies on the dollar. I believe that this is a step in the right direction, hemp should be utilized to its full extent.

The fact that you can use every part of the cannabis plant is another stellar benefit of hemp. After the oil has been pressed from the seeds, the leftover material can be collected and used to create a very nutritious animal feed high in protein and fiber. The fallen leaves from the cannabis plant along with the roots and trimming produced during harvest do an admirable job of helping to replenish the soil and prepare it for the next crop.

There are so many benefits associated with the use of hemp as a biofuel. Most researchers would agree that it would be a tragic mistake not to pursue this option.

Industrial Hemp Seed Oil For Biofuel Production Per Acre

Petroleum oil is a resource that all countries consume and because of this demand, people spend millions importing it or funding operations in order to gain more of this unrenewable commodity. Unfortunately, the continuous use of petroleum products has been helping contribute to environmental destruction and health problems. Henceforth, an organic alternative like Hemp bio-fuel is the best solution to these issues.

Definition of Hemp Fuel

Hemp biodiesel is an alternative fuel derived from the oil of pressed Cannabis plant seeds which are later processed into bio-fuel. Stalks of the same plant are also converted into biogases like ethanol and methanol which can also be used as a substitute for fossil fuel.

Some of The Many Advantages of Using Hemp as Fuel Source


* Hemp biodiesel is biodegradable therefore it will not contribute to environmental destruction.

* The Hemp plant is highly adaptable which means it can be grown in most any part of the world. Consequently, the production of cannabis fuel is highly sustainable because these plants can be easily and quickly reproduced.

* Alternative fuels directly address the matter of the dwindling petroleum supply. Developing other sources of fuel energy and integrating them into our lives will lower the cost for all oil derived products.

* Utilizing Hemp fuel will create more employment opportunities since the plants need to be cultivated, harvested and processed.

* Hemp bio-diesel vehicle emissions have a pleasant smell compared to fossil fuel oil.

* The Production of Cannabis or hemp renewable energy costs much less than collecting petroleum. Therefore, it can easily, cheaply and cleanly replace the necessity of drilling for crude oil while improving the air and soil quality.

Conversion To a Hemp Fuel is A No Brainer!


As it is an immediately consumable resource, since it can be used with already existing vehicles without any fancy modifications or alterations.

* The working condition for hemp oil production is considerably humane because its sources are organic and non-toxic. The raw materials are safe to handle or ingest and have positive health benefits.

* Hemp bio diesel processing is a “green” or environment-friendly method because the waste produced is decomposable and reusable.

The Leftover Bi-products of Hemp Processing Can Be Recycled Into Textiles.

Providing everything from bags, ropes, and clothing to paper and fiberboard. These durable plant fibers. And the leftover crushed seed also provides an excellent and nutritious feed source for livestock as well. Just these two recycled benefits can also lead to an additional income for the producers and advance the livelihood of whole communities.

Contrary to Popular Belief, Hemp Oil Products Are Not Marijuana

Although both come from the same species, hemp contains negligible amounts of THC (the chemical that makes the marihuana plant a potent drug). Therefore, handling it, eating it or inhaling the gasses or smoke from it will not intoxicate you in any way. Although, if you eat it, you may feel full.

* Culturing of the hemp plant itself is eco-friendly because it needs only a small amount or no pesticide at all. The Cannabis Sativa variety is a resistant bush, meaning it rarely has pests. It can be grown densely without pesticides or fertilizers, so soil pollution is diminished.

* Hemp plants nourish the soil they are planted in making the land reusable for other crops. It also reduces weed infestation as sunlight cannot penetrate their thick leaves. That benefits the farmer by decreasing the need to remove weeds continually, giving them time to rest or focus their time on other projects.

Hemp Seed Contains A Lot of Oil

The seed is composed of nearly 35% oil which makes about 207 gallons per hectare. This amount is greater than other alternative oil sources like vegetable oil. Using hempen oil will allow other edible seeds like peanuts, sunflower, sesame, and such to prevail as an unexhausted food source.

* The campaign for the use of alternative fuel sources like Hemp has spread awareness. People are switching to “greener” lifestyles and are more inclined to purchase naturally-sourced items.

* The use of hemp as another fuel source balances the playing field for renewable energy production. Allowing small to medium enterprises to compete for a bigger piece of the pie and not just the fuel pies, but the paper, textiles, plastic, and food pies as well.


Growing Hemp can Help us Utilize “Wastelands”


A lot of land and property is regularly abandoned and left impoverished because the owners were unsuccessful at converting it into farm land. The states can acquire these properties and farm hemp on them. The owners could plan for cash payments or even be given a percentage of the yield.


Planting More Hemp Contributes To Cleaner Air.


The cannabis plant grows very rapidly when compared to trees so a large population of these plants will double or even triple the oxygen yield. The Cannabis plant can be farmed even in forested areas beneath the trees because they don’t require a ton of sunlight. Hemp’s low maintenance and hearty characteristics make it ideal for cultivation in nearly every climate and easy to maintain.

* Cannabis seeds are profoundly nutritious as well, so as we are farming hemp for fuel, we are also creating a stable food source.

* Hemp plants enrich the soil as they grow by adding more nitrogen when compared to other vegetation, and its short life span before harvesting. The post-harvest remains enhance the earth even more, in turn, minimizing the need for synthetic fertilizers.

Hemp Fuel Can Be An Export

Sell the surplus to other countries as additional income for the nation. The demand for organic wholesale hemp products has been significantly increasing since the year 2000.

* Hemp biodiesel is a better fuel for vehicles as it doesn’t accumulate grime over time. In fact, studies have shown that it facilitates the cleaning of the internal parts. Hemp fuel does not need to heat up as much as diesel and gasoline, so it doesn’t promote as much wear to the engines or make them prone to overheating, not to mention that it is also a better lubricant when compared to petroleum products.

* Hemp oil can be blended with other types of oils as the viscosity is thinner than that of petroleum. The versatility of hemp oil allows us the possibility of creating a plethora of fuel variations in order to formulate the most efficient fuels.

* Growing hemp for fuel would not have any adverse effects on the agricultural sector, since, harvesting the fuel oil seed doesn’t wrestle with the need for more land. It literally encourages people to go back to farming as a reliable means of living.

* Hemp bio-fuel is safer to handle and store because of its higher threshold for explosion. Petroleum products can tolerate conditions under 125 degrees F compared to the hempen variety which can tolerate temperatures up 300 degrees F. Hemp fuels can be stored anywhere and in any type of fuel container since it doesn’t demand any special conditions.

The reason the use of hemp fuel is so controversial is that it threatens the existence of petroleum based products. Hemp is our replacement for fossil energy. Hemp threatens not only big oil but also, big cotton and big paper. Cannabis may be the most versatile plant on this planet.

ISU study on the biofuels market in America

Driven by the new energy policy of the US government the American ethanol production will reach 30 billion gallons in 2012. The current annual turnover could rise from 14 to 20 billion dollars at a time when the price of crude back to overcome the share of the $ 70 per barrel.

A recently conducted by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University (ISU), however, the study also makes the point about the possible economic consequences on the American market of wheat compare with the rising production of biofuel ethanol.

According to the report the growth of ethanol production will drag upward even the price of wheat by $ 2 per bushel in 2006 to $ 4.42 by 2016. In a crisis, such as that recorded in 1988, the prices of soybeans and wheat could however, further increase of up to $ 8.50, causing a drop of 50% on exports of wheat and related products.

The biofuels industry could come then to consume more than half of US wheat, indirectly driving up prices for livestock feed and then the meat to the final consumer. In the next ten years it is therefore assumed a reduction in exports of grain and meat made in the USA and an increase in imports from the southern hemisphere.

Despite the hypothesis may seem negative against biofuels study aims to identify an ‘optimal gear’ in the growth of the biofuel industry to take account of general economic analysis and not only partially. In this regard, the report summarizes the average ask yourself three short-term goals:

– Secure as a production peak max. ethanol an annual volume of 14 billion to 15 billion gallons and a cover of 10% of current US gasoline consumption. This step would ensure grain prices constantly lower than the $ 3.16 per bushel.

– The study also suggests the introduction of a subsidy of $ 270 for each acre converted for the cultivation of wheat and wheat, in order to contain the impact of ethanol on the agri-food sector.

Diversify the production of biofuels. The possibilities offered by the sector are manifold, but investment and policy decisions are often hampered by economic interests of large producers of grain policy and the importance of States ‘ barn ‘ (in the US).

– Apply the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to contain the uncontrolled expansion and give out financial aid and support to activities damaged by the increase in wheat (breeding).

In conclusion. ISU study confirms the rapid growth forecast for the biofuel industry in the US, however, taking into account the criticism raised by several parties on the impact of biofuel could be in the food industry.

Compared to the other criticisms of the biofuel study it appears to be free from political motivations and indicates the possible optimal solutions to reconcile the birth/growth of the biofuel industry to the rest of the agricultural economy.

Energetics 2007

It has just ended with a budget entirely positive Fiera di Genova “Energetics 2007”, renewable and sustainable energy living. About 9000 people visited the Fair actively participating in conferences and workshops.

National and international exhibitors were 254, from 12 countries in the world. During “Energetics 2007” were also presented the latest prototypes of electric vehicles and hydrogen cars, and the innovative policy of storing hydrogen by means of crystals.

There was room a bit ‘all sustainable mobility scenarios as biodiesel and biofuels. A common thread that combines renewable energy with the environment and that extends in all directions of everyday life: the use of cars to the energy efficiency of their homes.

Energetics The 2007 prize was awarded to the engineer Gianluca Toso for the project of an “eco-house” and the architect Alberto Bruno for the “energy dome” project.

Biogas in Africa

During the ‘Biogas for Better Life Conference: An African Initiative’ held on 22 May 2007 in Nairobi was prepared a plan for the supply of renewable energy to 20 million households in 25 African countries, including Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa.

The initiative will be supported by the presence of the Dutch company’s technology partners such as SNV and Hivos, the company already engaged in similar projects in Vietnam and Nepal, and focused on distributed generation of renewable energy from biogas.

The first stage of the program is being implemented in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Uganda. A small biogas plant has a low cost and can be used as raw material the dung of animals, as well as being easily distributed throughout the territory are located a short distance from the electricity consumption sites and sites not yet reached by the service.

The spread of the biogas plants will also support the production of fuel of biological origin. The biogas program will also enable the creation of a local supply chain and thus increased employment not qualified in rural areas. Based on the objectives, the program will allow the use of biogas to 10 million people by 2015.

Japan raises agriculture to cope with biofuel

The Japanese government has decided to revive the national agriculture to meet the growing global biofuel production and offset the future imbalances between supply and demand in international markets.

The White Paper on Agriculture published in Japan takes note of the new US policy on biofuels and the impact that it will have to rise in agricultural commodity prices on US exports in the next few decades.

According to recent studies, the choice of Washington to invest in the ethanol plant as a substitute for gasoline This suggests a radical change in international markets and on the agri-food trade flows. At the same time, the Japanese document also considers how other variable determining the natural growth of the grains from emerging countries consumption.

Based on these two future events, the Japanese government has decided to focus the revaluation of its agricultural sector in order to achieve agricultural independence of the Japanese domestic market than the rest of the world. The agricultural sector will be raised through the recovery of uncultivated or abandoned fields and the start of large-scale cultivation.

Biofuels and oil

The hypothesis of oil depletion, or rather call it ‘peak oil’, and the subsequent escalation in the price of crude oil does not agree with the statistical offices of the oil companies but is instead breach in marketing and strategic directions of the automakers. Over the last 12 months, we are witnessing even in Italy the inclusion of biofuel models in shopping lists and announcements of upcoming versions of insertions biofuel.

Why is it happening? The Flex technology is not at all unknown to European car manufacturers that the marketing for years in Brazil, where bio-ethanol is produced from sugar cane and available to distributors with ease at least equal to gasoline. The choice of European homes to introduce these models also in Europe is anything but ecological, of course, well understood and leaves to a rapid rollout of biofuels in the Old Continent.

It would be strange otherwise assist the marketing of models with power E85 (15% gasoline and 85% ethyl alcohol) in a context still devoid of distributors and biofuel pumps. It ‘an important signal that something is changing in the market. Interest in biofuels is now widespread: Ford, Volvo, Saab, Renault, PSA … hard to believe that all are wrong.

Moreover, the EU itself seems to have long since given the gap in favor of biofuels with legislation requiring its use to 5.75% of fuel demand by 2010. At this point, just make one plus one to find the answer the original question.

Will biofuels replace oil? No serious observer can say such a thing. For sure biofuels are a viable option to support the oil in his later decades of life and contain the price, indirectly helping to reduce energy dependence on black gold exporting countries. Biofuels without any oil crisis on a global scale would be even tougher.

A strong grounds for assessing ‘pro’ and ‘against’ biofuel without falling into facile enthusiasm or excessive and unnecessary critical attitudes.

It grows in Europe on the Biodiesel Market

New research from Frost & Sullivan reveals that and ‘expected to triple over the next six years. Europe’s desire to be less dependent on oil imports has revived interest in alternative fuels. This need to be self-sufficient has led to the enactment of laws by the individual Member States’ governments that are encouraging and pushing the biodiesel market.

A new analysis conducted by Frost & Sullivan, the European market Analysis of biodiesel and raw materials in 2007, reveals that the market earned revenues of 2.93 billion Euros in 2006.

According to forecasts, this figure is expected to reach 9, 75 billion euros in 2013. “the biodiesel market has benefited from the support of the European Commission through the Kyoto Protocol and the Directives 2003/30 / EC and 2003/96 / EC, seeking to promote specifically biofuels and to set indicative targets for their use in the transport sector, “explains the analyst of Frost & Sullivan Robert Outram.

It is expected that these regulations will lead to increased use of biofuels and make them competitive in terms of cost compared to other mineral fuels. Encouraged by the EU legislation, individual member states have also approved a number of incentives such as tax relief, RTFO (Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, which requires suppliers a certain percentage of sales of biofuels) and blending mandates.

In general, blending mandates have particularly aided the biodiesel market and the fuel sector. This legislation requires, in fact, that oil companies to blend a set percentage of biofuel in all its fuels, which for them with a huge logistical challenge of view. “Oil companies will require large volumes of biofuel to meet the mandate levels, even though percentage levels are usually low – explains the analyst of Frost & Sullivan.

This means that oil companies are likely to team up with biofuel producers in long-term agreements or even invest in their facilities. ” Such helpful mandates should, however, contribute to an increase in raw material prices.

Since the production of vegetable oil in Western Europe has reached full capacity and has remained constant over the last decade (between 11 and 12 million tons), the biodiesel market, highly competitive, is under pressure in the search for materials first at competitive prices.

Also with the contribution of 1 million additional tons from the new EU member states, to meet the European Union Directives – the aim of which is to ensure that biodiesel represents 5.75% of all transport fuels – will require approximately 9.5 million tons of biodiesel.

“Assuming a conversion of 1: 1 vegetable oil to biodiesel in terms of volume, it would need 80% of all the vegetable oil currently produced in Europe for the biodiesel market,” said Outram.

The overwhelming demand for finished products inevitably affect the prices of biofuels until it reaches a level where the profit margins of manufacturers will begin to decline. Since costs of raw materials account for 70% of all operating costs of a plant, biodiesel producers will largely rely on effective recovery strategies of the first as well as of reduced logistics costs.

Lula’s trip to Europe for biofuels

Brazilian President Lula concluded his first mission in Europe by bringing home an axis Brazil-EU biofuels and an important agreement in Brussels on production and sale of environmentally friendly fuels. Brazil and the European Union have signed a document for the establishment of a partnership on the development of the biofuels industry. At the center of the birth of an international market for ethanol, the fuel of vegetable origin derived from sugar cane.

During diplomatic meetings President Lula has denied the existence of a social and environmental impact resulting from the production of biofuel, reiterating that the Brazilian experience shows how the bioethanol sector avvantaggi own the most favored agricultural population.

Thus, President Lula has shown to want to deploy against the unfavorable face of biofuels. In 2007, Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro expressed a contrary position to the development of biofuel because of the possible impact on agriculture food. Europe showing particular attention to the nascent biofuels market with the ambitious target of achieving by 2020 to cover up to 10% of its consumption with green fuels. The proposed international politics by Lula concerns sull’abbattimento of duties that penalize today’s agri-food exports in order to promote the internationalization of the biofuel market.

Biofuels and labor exploitation

The recent criticism of biofuels because of the exploitative conditions applied to workers of South America leave us perplexed. The perplexity stems certainly not by the exploitation of labor, an undeniable reality in many developing countries, but particularly for the continuous attack against biofuels from some far-left political circles.

The first biofuel was criticized the possible cannibalization of the agri-food sector in favor of the energy as if the biofuel were the cause of world hunger, now also accused of facilitating the exploitation of workers. As if the exploitation of labor was a direct result of biofuels.

In fact, it would be enough to make a trip in the Southern Italian tomato plantations to realize that the exploitation of agricultural laborers is a phenomenon entirely unrelated to the industry or the reference chain. Or remember the sports shoes or footballs manufactured in countries from underage workforce development, exploited with low wages and long hours to reduce the production costs of European or American multinational whatsoever.

It has increasingly been the impression that biofuels are pestering for geopolitical reasons rather than environmental or ideological. This is demonstrated by the heated discussion in recent months which was attended by political figures of Fidel Castro and Chavez caliber.

There were the usual American imperialists to play the role of the bad guys, this time on the side of biofuels to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and other good, worldwide distribution of equity champions against biofuels and indirectly defenders of ‘ current oil economy. That there is some bad faith in all this?