Hemp is very suitable for Ethanol and Bio-diesel. Production of bio-ethanol from biomass is one way to reduce both consumption of crude oil and environmental pollution. Using bio-ethanol blended gasoline fuel for automobiles can significantly reduce petroleum use and exhaust greenhouse gas emission. Bio-ethanol can be produced from different kinds of raw materials. These raw materials are classified into three categories of agricultural, raw materials, simple sugars, starch and lignocellulose. Bio-ethanol, when produced under the proper conditions, is essentially a clean fuel and has several clear advantages over petroleum-derived gasoline in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality in metropolitan areas.
The importance of renewable biofuels in displacing fossil fuels within the transport sector in the United States, is growing, especially in the light of concerns over energy security and global warming. The US federal government, as well as most governments worldwide, is strongly committed to displacing fossil fuels with renewable, potentially low carbon, biofuels produced from biomass. The primary motivation for these efforts, is both to decrease reliance on fossil fuels, particularly imported fuels, and to address concerns over the contribution of fossil-fuel consumption by the transport sector to global warming.
The US federal government has therefore set a target of displacing 30% of current US gasoline (petrol and diesel) consumption within the transportation sector with biofuels, by 2030.
With total fossil fuel consumption within this sector currently running at levels of approximately 757 billion liters (200 billion gallons) per year, this requires the United States to develop a commercial infrastructure capable of producing approximately 227 billion liters (60 billion gallons) of biofuel per year on an energy-equivalent basis over this time frame.
The European Union, China, Australia and New Zealand have also established similar targets for biofuel production. Next-generation biomass feedstocks for biofuel production http://genomebiology.com/2008/9/12/242/
There are various social, economic, environmental and technical issues with biofuel production and use, which have been discussed in the popular media and scientific journals. These include: the effect of moderating oil prices, the “food vs fuel” debate, poverty reduction potential, carbon emissions levels, sustainable biofuel production, deforestation and soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, impact on water resources, as well as energy balance and efficiency.
HEMP Biomass for Fuel
In recent years a lot of attention has been focused on the development of an ethanol industry in Australia. We have also seen the continuing controversy as to whether ethanol will damage car motors, while others want to legislate that all petrol should have a ten per cent ethanol content. If the aim was simply to develop an organic source of fuel, rather than to come to the aid of a struggling sugar industry, the pyrolysis of abroad range of biomass sources to produce methanol, would make much more sense. Formula One racing cars use methanol for their fuel. Current world production of biomass is estimated at 150 billion tonnes a year, mostly wild plant growth. With biomass, CO2 is taken from the air when the crop is growing. When it is burned, the CO2 is released, creating a balanced system.
Hemp is the most prolific of the plants, suitable for growing as crops for producing biomass commercially for fuel. It is a woody plant containing 77% cellulose. Wood produces 60% cellulose. It grows well in almost all climates, reaching maximum biomass yield in about four months. Extensive trials in Europe, with the hemp growing in a temperate climate and producing two crops over an eight month period, have demonstrated that a hectare will yield around fifty tonnes of hemp biomass. From an area the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (173 x 148 meters, around 2 hectares) the annual yield from a hemp crop after pyrolysis would be around 40,000 liters of methanol.
Tony Kneipp HEMP Senate Candidate for Queensland 24/09/2004