Bio-mass from food crops and their byproducts is used to make Biofuel.
Hemp’s long history in civilization and the multitude of products that can be derived from this single plant has made it one of the most valuable and sustainable plants in the history of mankind.
For the pioneer biofuel industry, hemp provided the biomass that Henry Ford needed for his production of ethanol before prohibition last century. Bast fibre crops include such species as Flax, Kenaf, Sun Hemp and Industrial Hemp. The “hurd” is the inner woody core of the bast fibre plant’s stem.
In general bast fibre crops produce the greatest amount of usable bio-mass, over the shortest period, for the least amount of water.
Bast crops are a highly efficient mop crop and can use most types of waste or even brackish water. Between 1.7 and 1.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere for each tonne of bast crop cellulose produced.
We typically grow 10-14 tonnes of crop straw per hectare. Another 2-3 tonnes of cellulose mass is produced and stored in the root system. Each hectare of hemp can sequester about 22 tonnes of greenhouse gases. Industrial 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.
Organic plants are converted into pyrolytic fuel using a thermo-chemical process. Using the same technology as fossil fuels, the 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 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 of anhydrous pyrolysis is the production of charcoal through the pyrolysis of wood. More recently, pyrolysis has been used on a massive scale to turn coal into coke for metallurgy, especially steel making.
Anhydrous pyrolysis can also 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.
Bio-diesel from hemp seed
Hemp seed oil has been used as lamp oil for thousands of years and has many historical links over many cultures. Bio-diesel is composed of methyl and ethyl esters. Any source of complex fatty acid can be used to create Bio-diesel and glycerin.
Peanut oil, hemp oil, corn oil, and tallow are used as sources for the complex fatty acids used 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. 30% hemp seed oil is usable as a high-grade diesel fuel and that it could also be used as machine lubricant and engine oil.
Bio-diesel remains in the political and economic arena and is playing a part in this process as the awareness of alternative fuel spreads through the consciousness of the general public.