Hemp Biofuel: What it is, it’s Potential, and Why it Hasn’t Taken off Yet

Hemp Biofuel: What it is, it’s Potential, and Why it Hasn’t Taken off Yet

As our concern for climate change continues to escalate, the search for identifying renewable clean energy sources continues to astonish those of us in the hemp industry. Why is no one talking about the most obvious and life changing sustainable option that already exists and has been proven for its multi-versatile use, HEMP?

Listening to John Stuart this week talking about what strategies are in place to transition from the toxic fossil fuels, to plant based biofuels, there are none, and Hemp did not arise in his conversations. In fact it seems mainstream realities have no clue or, in the case of the media, they may not be able to bring any attention to the game changing qualities of hemp because mainstream media is bought and paid for by the petrochemical industrial complex. 


The question keeps coming back to why? Why are we avoiding the obvious? Here’s an article explaining the whys and why nots for Hemp as a sustainable solution for the transition out of biofuel. The question is, even if it took 5+ years and huge investment, wouldn’t it be worth it to act now?

As one area of focus in transitioning away from fossil fuels, biofuels appeared to have a promising future. Unlike corn or other biomass used for biofuels, Hemp biofuel has not reached its potential highs. What is Hemp biofuel, what is its potential, and why hasn’t it taken off yet?

Hemp’s versatility has always been among its major selling points. Humans have used hemp in innumerable ingenious ways throughout history for a vast array of purposes. Today, hemp seed oil is used to make hemp biodiesel fuel. In this article we’re going to explain what biofuels are, the promising future people envisioned for biofuels, and why hemp-based biofuels have not reached the promise of other biomass grown for biofuels.

Read more at Cannabis Life Network

Hemp: Low-Hanging Fruit for Climate Change Fight

Hemp: Low-Hanging Fruit for Climate Change Fight

The Chemurgic principles of George Washington Carver and Henry Ford can stimulate the imagination, “anything made from a hydrocarbon can be made from a carbohydrate” and “grow our oil don’t drill for it.” But replacing fossil fuels with hemp is an expensive and difficult proposition, will take decades, and will compete for land for food and medicine production.

While everyone believes hemp has a role in improving climate change and sustainability by reducing fossil fuels, many focus on the hardest segments to realize. But biofuels are not yet economically viable, and building materials are not yet approved for use in construction. And growing hemp for CBD often uses artificial lighting, wide spacing, plastic mulch, and CO2 gas for extraction, thus is the worst of all for climate change impacts.

Biofuels are not soon going to be economical enough to compete against fossil fuels. Textiles need a lot of expensive infrastructure. Using hemp in plastic means you still are making plastic, with chemical resins that don’t decompose well. And it, like hempcrete, doesn’t even need hemp let alone virgin hemp grown just for that use. Most ag wastes can be used, which today are routinely burned thereby making them an even better candidate than virgin hemp fiber to capture carbon.

However, there is one hemp product that is the low-hanging fruit in the fight against climate change which few mention: use of the seed to replace or supplement meat and dairy products in the human diet. Hempseed is actually a fruit, and is grown to be shorter than fiber hemp. Thus it is literally the low-hanging fruit in the climate change fight. Before CBD, hempseed was the value-driver for hemp, and is expected to be once again

Worldwide, an estimated 2 billion people live primarily on a meat-based diet while an estimated 4 billion live primarily on a plant-based diet. The U.S. food production system uses about 50% of the total U.S. land area, 80% of the fresh water, and 17% of the fossil energy used in the country.

Cows generate the bulk of emissions in the livestock sector, which itself is responsible for almost 15% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) use far more grain protein than they produce in meat or dairy protein, thereby turning abundance into scarcity. But shelled hempseed (“Hemp Nut” or “Hemp Hearts”; the seed of the hemp plant with the shell removed, exposing a delicious savory nutty fruit) can be used directly to make such dairy-like foods as ice cream, milk, yogurt, and even burgers and other meat alternatives. And unlike most other aspects of hemp, incorporating hempseed into operations would be very easy for food processors.

The growth rate for vegan foods is high, the future is so bright many meat companies are embracing the trend with their own offerings. People eat two or three times every day, thus food has widest range of potential customers and highest potential sales volume.

Touting the least-viable and most-expensive uses of hemp which also require the biggest capital investment is not necessary when hempseed can be used in foods immediately. Hempseed as food is hemp’s first billion dollar segment, and today is over 90% of Canadian hemp.

Ben and Jerry’s, Dannon, Hormel, and the like could have products made from hempseed on the shelf in months. With 1/3 complete protein, 1/3 essential fatty acids and delicious raw, hempseed is a better material than soy for most foods, can be used in any recipe, is free of drugs, is non-GMO, can be organic, and is free of most of the anti-nutritional factors plaguing soy.

Transitioning to plant-based solutions to climate change won’t be easy, many industries will be impacted. Perhaps that’s why one of the easiest and cheapest ways to cut greenhouse gas, by replacing animal products with plant-based sources, isn’t discussed. Hempseed could disrupt milk, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese production, as well as the animal protein industry. Not everyone will be happy with that especially powerful and politically-connected CAFOs, as artisanal production will always have a market. The global hemp-based foods market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 24% during 2018-2022. Hemp as food will also encourage organic and regenerative production.

It’s easy to see Big Oil as the Boogeyman deserving disintermediation, and harder to get behind disrupting local corporate meat and cheese makers. But pivoting to hempseed to replace dairy could be done easily and quickly and the factories already exist, we just need the seed.

Aseptic and fresh milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream can displace some-to-all of the dairy product used. Even just 5% hempseed in the formula is a good start; it kicks off the revolution and gets factories into the protocol and swing of things. It’ll be a big change for them but having made plant-based dairy analogs in a dairy plant many times since 1984, I know it’s not that hard to incorporate shelled hempseed into formulations, you just have to want to. Oh, and perhaps buy a small mill; but seriously that’s about it.

Other possible products include protein powders, functional ingredients, egg replacers, vegetable oil, animal feeds, birdseed, and even Cannabisin from the shells.

If 100% plant-based versions could be supported by the public, it would quickly develop. It could create a new hempen Silk brand, or a hemp Tofutti or Tofurky. Take it public. That playing field is wide open, no one has yet done it right in hemp. Tempt tried, Evo did well. But no one yet created hemp food’s Big Brand, at least in this century. HempNut, Inc. did last century, but that’s ancient history at this point. Many other younger hemp food companies innovate circles around the legacy ones, such as Hemp Way Foods and Planet Based Foods.

To develop a breakthrough national hemp food brand will take a company with an authentic genesis backstory. That doesn’t preclude say a Venture Capitalist from starting a “fauxthentic” co-packed brand for the U.S. while living in Dubai by throwing money at it. He’ll come up with his “Juan Valdez,” the fictional coffee grower. It’s totally possible to do that, buy your way in.

But it’s also possible for a passionate young person to have the vision of “what should be,” and create an honest food processing company employing many. It could even be a farm, a co-operative of farms, or an existing food company.

In hemp foods, right here right now… the world is yours. It’s like the automobile industry in 1915, video games in 1985, or tofu in 1980. But unlike those eras, you have the benefit of leveraging major social issues. The marketing of cars was riding social concerns as well; American exceptionalism, westward expansion, the feeling of independence and freedom, the new concept of commuting far to a job from the suburbs, etc. But autos did not present the value proposition of active engagement in healing a planet on fire, like we have today. The imperative of protecting the world our children’s children will live in is a powerful lever.

Smart branders will no doubt use that in a Neoliberal Marketing campaign, “buy our product to fix climate change.” It’s inevitable these days, hopefully it won’t be yet another marketing lie.

Comparing plant-based milks with cow’s milk, soy is the best understood. Researchers who compared the units of fossil-fuel energy required to produce milk and soybeans found that it takes 14 kilo-calories (kcal) of fossil fuels to produce a single kcal of dairy milk, whereas just 1 kcal of fossil fuels can produce 3.2 kcal of soybeans. That measurement takes into account the fertilizers, pesticides, and other industrial inputs used in agriculture.

The carbon footprint is only one aspect of a given food’s sustainability; it’s also important to consider the source of the product (such as whether the soy is sustainably farmed) and the other resources, such as water, needed to produce your non-dairy milk. Non-dairy beverages also require additional processing—after all, those 3.2 kcal of beans have a long way to go before they are transformed into your vanilla soy milk. Compared to soy, hempseed has a number of advantages: it is not genetically-engineered to allow drenching it with herbicides, it can be grown in more regions, has more genetic diversity, is more likely to be grown organically, captures more carbon, has fewer allergens and anti-nutritional factors, has more uses besides just the seed, and tastes better raw. Soy requires extensive heat processing before being edible, unlike hempseed.

Whereas soybeans are grown in rows and don’t get much taller than 2 m, hemp grown for seed can be very tall, with exponentially more biomass sucking carbon out of the atmosphere than a field put to soy. While the current practice when growing for seed is to have short plants for harvesting ease, that’s more an equipment limitation than a natural one. Comparing soy agronomy and processing to hempseed, soy is more energy intensive.

While a liter of soymilk generates only 18% of the GHG of a liter of cow’s milk, hempseed will be even lower, much lower. And although tofu is 8% of the greenhouse gas generated per pound of protein than herd beef, simply because shelled hempseed can be eaten raw, unlike soybean, it could generate far less GHG by the time it gets into people’s stomachs.

The Naturally Nutrient Rich score of shelled hempseed is 21.1. PDCAAS is 0.46, protein digestibility is 0.93, and PER is 1.87. The Disaster Response Diet Score of hempseed as food is 11.

And where there’s hempseed, there’s bast and hurd fiber… lots of it. As much as twenty times more fiber than seed, per-acre. To get that seed, you’ll have to also find a revenue stream for all that fiber. It won’t likely be suitable for textiles, but still has value and tons of carbon locked-up inside it. It could be used in Biocrete to make carbon-negative building insulation, ethanol, biochar, animal bedding, auto parts, erosion control, and many other products.

Growing hemp, especially for food, aligns with many Sustainable Development Goals. Where a Carbon Credits system is implemented it may give hemp farming an economic advantage over other crops or operations and could warm investors and asset owners to hemp.

This story first appeared at The Richard Rose Report

Eating Our Way to Extinction

Eating Our Way to Extinction

“The documentary future generations will be wishing everyone watched TODAY.” ~ Leonardo DiCaprio

Eating our Way to Extinction takes audiences on a cinematic journey around the world, from the depths of the Amazon rainforests to the Taiwanese Mountains, the Mongolian desert, the US Dust Bowl, the Norwegian Fjords and the Scottish coastlines, telling the story of our planet through shocking testimonials, poignant accounts from indigenous people most affected by our ever-changing planet, globally renowned figures and leading scientists. This powerful documentary sends a simple but impactful message by uncovering hard truths and addressing, on the big screen, the most pressing issue of our generation – ecological collapse.

The documentary covers biodiversity loss, deforestation, desertification, food and water security and the destruction of our oceans, and the link between these issues and our diet. The UN recently released a report that states we have 10 years left to reverse climate change before we face significantly more devastating effects, and other scientists are saying that at the current rate of our environmental destruction, we are in the 6th mass extinction! So, if we really want to save this planet for the next generation, we need to take action now, not in 10 or 20 years’ time. 

Our aim is to ensure as many people as possible watch the documentary across the globe, educate themselves, and change to a more sustainable and healthy food system.

“If we don’t take care of our world now, we’ll not have a place to live later.” — Darlene Mea

We’d also like to share what Kate Winslet said to the audience before the film premiered at the London Odeon on Sept 8th:

“Our wonderful film makers present to us facts that are staggering; that are at times uncomfortable to hear and even terrifying to comprehend that these are real facts, not a hoax. The filmmakers’ shared hope is that you will gain enough knowledge to perhaps experience a shift in your perspectives on this global crisis and perhaps make some changes that we so desperately need as a collective, as a community, as human beings who wish to preserve and protect our planet, our air, our children, our mental health and our animals. It can be done. This film shows us we can be powerful, not powerless.

Let us stand shoulder to shoulder with these filmmakers and bit by bit we may find ourselves realizing that maybe we can go without those foods that we have become so used to putting in our sandwiches, and reaching for the plant-based alternative. We’re emerging from lockdowns the world over. Perhaps this moment of re-emergence for us can also include new thought patterns around how we feed ourselves, and consider our next chapter whilst knowing that collectively the difference we can make will be seismic.”

TED Talk: Why Not Hemp Now?

TED Talk: Why Not Hemp Now?

Hemp advocate Amy Ansel says the Hemp plant — marijuana’s sober cousin — is poised to revolutionize industries by taking the place of more toxic materials and putting us on a path to a cleaner, more sustainable world.

Elon Musk to Give $100 Million

Elon Musk to Give $100 Million

We’re doing flips here at HempingtonPost to see this article regarding Elon Musk preparing to give $100 Million to the First Person Who Can Create This Climate-Saving Technology.

As CEO my first thought was how could Elon not know about the power of Hemp for cleaning our atmosphere as well as astronomical economic effects.? Apparently he doesn’t? So what to do, now, Sunday Jan 23rd 2021?

We’re posting this to ask You! How do we find Elon Musk? This is an incredible opportunity for the Hemp Fiber industry to get the huge kick start into the replacing the fossil fuel industry for the sustainability of all life! However this article does not show how to reach out. I’m sure there are ways and perhaps those who are compelled to do so will research, find and connect with him. Personally this could be the saving grace we need in this industry, a huge mogul to lead the way of challenging the petrochemical industry complex. If he gets in others will follow!

Here’s the article from People Magazine

Elon Musk to Give $100 Million to the First Person Who Can Create This Climate-Saving Technology

Whoever takes up Elon Musk’s latest challenge could be in for a financial windfall — but it would benefit everyone on the planet.

The announcement comes after 49-year-old Musk briefly surpassed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person earlier this month. Bezos, 57, has since reclaimed the title, according to Forbes’ “Real-time Billionaires List,” which lists Bezos with a net worth of $191 billion, and Musk with $182 billion at the time of publication.

His follow-up tweet on Thursday said, “Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology.”

B ut what is “carbon capture technology,” and why does Musk seem to care about it?

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Controlling carbon dioxide (CO₂) levels in the atmosphere is an important step in the fight against climate change. Carbon dioxide is emitted by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil.

Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through a process called photosynthesis, but in the modern world, carbon dioxide is inundating the environment at a dangerous rate through the use of gasoline-dependent vehicles and the burning of wood and coal, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Seen first on https://people.com/human-interest/elon-musk-100-million-reward-carbon-capture-technology/

The Environmental Importance of HEMP for Climate Change

The Environmental Importance of HEMP for Climate Change

The Earth’s resources must be used at a rate at which they can be replenished. However, there is now clear scientific evidence that humanity is living in an unsustainable fashion, and that an unprecedented collective effort is needed to return human use of natural resources to within sustainable limits. Therefor the Environmental Importance for HEMP and Climate Change is crucial!

In 1989, the World Commission on Environment and Development articulated what has now become a widely accepted definition of sustainability: “to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” –Wikipedia

Crucial facts for CLIMATE CHANGE

HEMP IS THE ANSWER! Crucial facts for CLIMATE CHANGE

Hemp converts the sun’s energy via photosynthesis into multi-beneficial cellulose faster than any other plant. Hemp is at least four times richer in cellulose potential than the already legal sources, such as cornstalk and sugarcane, traditionally used for biomass production. Further, hemp is so low-moisture and woody that little to no energy is required to dry the crop prior to biomass conversion, which is not the case for other sources like sugarcane and maize. 

According to the IPCC, while fossil-fuel combustion is the primary cause of greenhouse-gas emissions generated by humans (57 percent), deforestation comes in second, contributing almost one-fifth of climate-altering emissions in the form of increased CO2.

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, 32 million acres of tropical rainforest have been cut down every year since 2000. The EDF notes that any realistic plan to reduce global warming has to preserve these rainforests, which absorb CO2 in the air and replace it with oxygen — just as cannabis does. If these rainforests are the lungs of the planet, then hemp can be seen as Earth’s oxygen tank.

Hemp is a suitable replacement for the wood derived from these forests because its fiber is more durable and can be recycled more frequently than wood fiber. Also, the plant’s roots penetrate a foot into the soil during the first six weeks of growth — and can ultimately extend down to eight feet — allowing the plant to withstand flooding. Hemp can also survive intermittent frosts reaching as low as 12°F. Hemp doesn’t require fertilizer or herbicides, and it enriches rather than depletes the soil via aeration through its deep roots.

The hardy and versatile hemp plant would naturally assimilate in forests and tree plantations, although this process would result in initial start-up costs for making the transition. But like every other front in the fight against global warming, it comes down to prioritizing the long-term sustainability of the planet over a shortsighted bottom line.

 SOURCE:  http://www.hightimes.com/read/can-hemp-save-us-global-warming

The various processes for converting hemp biomass into fuel are too numerous to be discussed in this article, but the most promising appears to be hydrolysis, because it can potentially yield 100 gallons per ton by converting cellulose into fermentable glucose. This means a single acre of hemp can theoretically produce ten tons — or 1,000 gallons of fuel — per growing season.

Hale the PLANTS!

The US Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency are all on record declaring the production of biodiesel and bioethanol as essential for addressing the environmental crisis caused by fossil fuels.

This is especially true since, one way or another, the days of fossil fuels are numbered. There will come a point in time when all fossil fuels have been depleted, despite being technically “renewable” because plant and animal materials create such fuels. Since the process takes millions of years, we are depleting known fossil-fuel reserves at a much faster rate than new ones are able to form, which means that workable alternative sources of energy must eventually be harnessed if we are to maintain our present car culture.

  • It replaces trees as the source of raw material for wood and paper, thereby conserving forests. Trees take years to grow, while a crop of hemp can be grown in a few months. One acre of hemp produces as much paper annually as 4 acres of trees.
  • When burning hemp as a fuel, carbon dioxide is released into the air, but this is absorbed by the next crop, which can be harvested 120 days after planting. This quick growth avoids the build-up of carbon dioxide. Also, hemp is a very leafy plant and thus contributes a high level of oxygen to the atmosphere during its growth; between 20 and 40%. This makes up for the loss of oxygen when it is burnt as a fuel, which in turn, reduces unwanted effects of global warming, acid rain and the depletion in the ozone layer on the environment.
  • Air pollution is reduced since hemp is naturally resistant to pests and does not need pesticides and herbicides to be sprayed. Very little fertilizers are required, since it’s abundant leaves fall into the soil and release the required nutrients and minerals, thereby creating better soil tilth. Cotton and flax are known to consume 50% of all pesticides; hemp replaces cotton as a raw material in the manufacturing of paper and cloth, and flax fiber or seed for animal feed, animal bedding and paper.
  • Soil enrichment: The hemp crop grows dense and vigorously. Sunlight cannot penetrate the plants to reach the ground, and this means the crop is normally free of weeds. Its deep roots use groundwater and reduce its salinity. Also, erosion of topsoil is limited, thereby reducing water pollution. The roots give nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil. After the harvest, this soil makes excellent compost amendments for other plants, and hemp cultivation can follow the rotation of agriculture with wheat or soybean. In fact, the same soil can be used to grow hemp for many years, without losing its high quality. The hemp plant absorbs toxic metals emitted by nuclear plants into the soil, such as copper, cadmium, lead and mercury.
  • Fabrics made of hemp do not have any chemical residue, and is therefore safe for consumers. Even if the fabric contains only 50% hemp, it can keep the UV rays of the sun from harming the skin underneath.

Hemp products can be recycled, reused and are 100% biodegradable. The growth speed of the plant is fast enough to meet the increasing industrial and commercial demand for these products. Switching to hemp products will help save the environment, leaving a cleaner and greener planet for the next generation.

SOURCE:  http://hempbenefits.org/environmental-benefits-of-hemp/ 

The current state of Hemp does not seem to be focused on fiber. why?

Colorado is more closely associated with cannabis production, but it is also the leading producer of hemp. On the state level, hemp was legalized in Colorado back in 2012, so producers have had a huge headstart on the competition.

Kentucky has retaken its place as a major producer of hemp since the crop was legalized by state legislators in 2013. Before the change in federal law, there were over 200 licensed hemp growers in the state as well as 43 processors.

Oregon, North Dakota, Minnesota and New York are other major producers of hemp. These states benefited from their legislators legalizing hemp years before the federal law changed. 

Other agricultural states are almost certain to embrace hemp as a crop now that the crop is legal on the federal level.

For the first time in our life, we as a country and a society can have hope for a sustainable thriving future. We now have the ability to utilize our natural resources of HEMP, especially hemp for fiber. Side note here, Hemp fiber is used for industry so the level of THC is non-existent, it’s a non-issue.  No one’s going to smoke a shoe, a house, even a piece of paper or hemp plastic.  This is a big benefit to this industry, the regulation change, there’s no ingestion of the plant on any level. So again the question is why not grow hemp fiber?