Hemp Biofuels: Reality?
Hemp has been in the mainstream media for the past couple of years. Since the legalization of recreational uses in many US states, the production of industrial-based byproducts has caught the eye of many environmental activists who wish to use biomass as a means of fuel.
Hemp has a wide range of uses. From clothes to plastics, the industry has made huge headway as a reliable resource. Heck, even the US constitution is written on hemp parchment. This is to ensure its durability for years to come. So why not use it for other means? Well, it has been used for thousands of years.
Ford decided that it was time to try out alternative fuel methods way back in the early 1900s. With engineer Rudolf Diesel making headway with his sturdy and reliable diesel engine, Ford had to come up with something competitive. Thus, they set out to find a renewable fuel source as well as a stronger body for their car. The first hemp car was a prototype of Ford and relied solely on the byproduct of many hemp farmers at the time.
The new Ford vehicle ran purely on canna-byproduct and the structure of the body was used from pressed and recycled hemp. Thus creating a car 100 times sturdier than conventional plastics as well as equal fuel consumption (for the time).
Anslinger and the Perception of Hemp
Henry J. Anslinger became the first commissioner for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. His work with various other countries had bore witness to the use of Cannabis. His reasons for banning the plant in the US stem from racist remarks and unintelligible comparisons to more harsh drugs. Now, we do not condone the use of cannabis. That is up to you. These are the factors that changed the face of reusable products to help manufacture vehicles. From then on, the use of hemp was banned by the United States.
Overnight, the perception of hemp went from the rope you used to the demonization of all materials that may or may not come from the plant. Thus, Anslinger had put a halt to the manufacturing of industrial hemp in an instant. It has taken almost 100 years to put things back into order for the industry.
Extracting seeds can be a daunting task. It also requires more than a simple backyard filtration system. A heat press is a requirement in order to separate the oils from the seeds. Also, the number of hemp seeds that you would need to fill just one tank is astronomical. Where products such as peanuts, canola, vegetables, and soybeans have entire industries based on their production, the use of these methods for fuel also has its price. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) they are nowhere near the production costs of hemp seed. The same energy production can generate through both methods. The cost of one far exceeds the cost of another for the same energy value.
In the conventional sense, a simple diesel engine can typically take whatever it is that you want to throw into it. Having cast iron head gaskets and a more stable and solid engine design means that utilizing biofuels is a quick and easy setup. The best way to look at how to effectively use biofuels is similar to conventional gas. Every fifth fill, drivers should typically fill up with premium. This helps to clean any sort of gunk that may accumulate within the engine itself and the fuel lines. Using this method can increase the car’s performance by a large number. Biofuels perform the same way. Unless you are in an area that dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you shouldn’t have an issue with your fuels clocking up fuel lines.
Where Is Hemp Today?
The use of this product has been slowly crawling back into the world industry. With more and more states becoming more aware of the solutions that the plant can solve, industries have been able to take a foothold for the future. Thus, manufactured goods like clothing and plastics, it is only a matter of time before we see a full-force in hemp-derived consumer biofuel.