A vegetation revolution. The renewable energy within rotting hemp.

Hemp as bio mass fuel for our homes and cars.

It is a fact, that leftover hemp stock laying in the field rotting can be turned into ethanol, methanol, BTU gas, tar and charcoal; and lots of it.

A jungle of wealth and fuel

This is a game changer.

When we look at the numbers, hemp as ethanol and bio fuels is amazing.  As much as I marvel at all the uses for hemp (and there’s a gazillion) my research is saying ethanol is the top of the list.

Let's do some math.

Some numbers from a couple of sources: A 2009 study showed a yield of 141 grams of ethanol per kilogram of biomass.  A year later, using a better polysaccharide extraction process, the yield increased to 171 grams per ton (1).  Another source I couldn't verify in time for my article, stated production yields of 25 gallons per ton of bio mass (2).

When we convert the lesser of yield of 141 grams per kilogram, it equates to approximately 48 gallons (of ethanol) per ton.  If we take the lesser of the two stated production yields, 25 gallons per ton of bio mass, then our 20 acre field, that we talked about last article, would produce 3,500 gallons of ethanol.

That’s four times more fuel than I need for my gas guzzler for a year.  At a modest price of 1.09 per litre 3,500 gallons of ethanol is about $17,300!

Fields of money

The yield is worth almost a grand per acre on the retail market.  While the hemp farmer would not make that much per acre, knowing these numbers should allow farmers to negotiate a good price for their hemp.

The savvy hemp farmer would cream off the valuable seed and grain from the crop, the fibre and stock make for a “second” crop of revenue.

Hemp seeds

Hemp has a high bio mass per acre yield producing four times more than cornstalk, sugar cane, trees, etc.  A 10 ton per acre yield is average, with 70% or 7 tons usable after moisture loss.  Many places south of the 49th parallel could pull off two crops per year.

All without the use of “roundup” ready nothing and excessive water use.  It’s actually good for the planet.  All that bio mass is sucking in large amounts of carbons to compound the building blocks for rapid growth characteristic of the hemp plant.  That’s why it’s necessary for us to transition to bio fuels as one way to help stabilize the bio sphere and end acid rain.

But wait, there’s more.  Ethanol is just one byproducts of the distillation process.  The fermentation of hemp stock also produces methanol (camp fuel), tar and charcoal, which can power generating plants, and BTU gas which can also power generating stations, light furnaces, hot water tanks, barbeques, like natural gas or propane does now.  Wow!  Wow! Wow!

On the frontier of the hemp ethanol revolution is a joint venture ethanol fermentation pilot project between Discovery Minerals Ltd. and Syngar Technologies Inc. of Edmonton, Alberta.

They are working on the PLUS Wave technology developed by Syngar which aims to increase ethanol production significantly.  By optimizing cellulose conversion to sugars, or cellulose slurry, which is needed for fermentation, they hope to reduce the time for the pre treatment of cellulose for fermentation and to find ways to reduce overall production costs. (3) Hot Stock Market website has more information on this JV (4).  This will be one to watch.

Syngar, in their September 2012 presentation to the Alberta Clean Technology Industry Alliance estimated revenues from 150M in 2015 to 1 Billion US by 2022.  With a shot of political will on their side they may achieve these goals.

Bio Ethanol

In 1925, the New York Times quoted Henry Ford as saying ethyl alcohol “is the fuel of the future”.  He was right.  We would ‘ve saved ourselves a lot of headaches and pollution had we stuck with cultivating hemp for bio ethanol and pressed hemp seed for bio diesel.  Getting ourselves back on track to doing the right thing has been a long road with political and environment consequences.  The biggest holdup is the dicks sitting in power (I know I’ve said that before).

From the 1920’s to, hopefully only, the mid 21st century will go down in history as the Pinguid era, I just made that up, when we were hung out by dirty corporations and dirty politicians using our money to control the essence of our modern lives, ENERGY.

Harvesting hemp

Still, there’s good reason to keep dreaming the good dream, where we have a green, sustainable, renewable, affordable forms of energy readily available to us.  Vision is everything.  Everything is possible!

(1) http://sensiseeds.com/en/blog/hemp-plastics-made/

(2) http://www.rmforbes.net/

(3) http://www.canadianbiomassmagazine.ca/biofuel/industrial-hemp-project-will-create-biofuel-4603

(4) http://www.hotstockmarket.com/t/278496/dscr-discovery-minerals-ltd