Hemp Biofuel Production The Green Alternative to Petroleum Fuels

Since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century, the whole world has grown dependent upon reservoirs of fossil fuels for the supply of petroleum fuel. It is commonly used as a source of energy for transportation, electricity, and making plastics. Fossil fuels are a non-renewable form of energy; millions of years are required for it to be created deep within the Earth’s ground. The demand for petroleum has been steadily rising as the human population grows because the necessary amount of fuel to sustain progress and development has to be met.

The demand for fossil fuel has grown particularly in the transportation industry due to the unprecedented increase in the number of privately held vehicles, but the fossil fuel reserves are getting depleted, and petroleum fuel is getting more expensive. If the demand is high yet the supply is low, then definitely there will be an increase in the price of the acquisition. Aside from this concept of economics, there is another reason why fossil fuel is getting more expensive.

As mentioned above, fossil fuels are made deep within the Earth. The first fuel reservoirs to be found and used were those near the surface of the Earth. When these reservoirs are depleted, there is a need to find other repositories which require us to dig deeper under the surface. Thus, the cost gets higher.

A solution to the scarcity of petroleum resources is the use of a hemp alternative energy. There are so called “renewable resources,” that do not run out as these can be regularly produced; hence, the term “renewable”. Renewable fuel sources are better than fossil fuel reservoirs as these can provide fuels that can be produced and reproduced depending on the needs of the people, unlike the non-renewable fossil fuel sources.

Hemp or Cannabis is considered to be an excellent source according to hemp bio-fuel research. This plant is known for many of its hemp products, everything from industrial to medicinal variants. According to the European Environmental Agency (2006), hemp is a fast growing biomass and is one of the very first plants to be domesticated by humans. It is likewise not a sensitive plant. Meaning it does not require the use of insecticides and weedicides during the process of cultivating. This proves that hemp has a high potential to be the best crop for hemp biodiesel and biofuel production. Biofuels are fuels that are produced from organic materials from both plants and animals.

Diesel fuel obtained from hemp (hemp-biodiesel) is cleaner than petroleum fuels when burned. It has a lower sulfur content that can turn the rain acidic (He, et al. 2009), thus, it will provide fewer emissions that can threaten our environment. According to Christine Buckley (2010), Hemp is a plant that can easily grow in infertile lands with less water, and that it has few identified diseases. One of the biggest advantages of hemp is that it does not require much to plant.
Many countries have not relegalized the farming of hemp as some forms have drug-like qualities. It can potentially cause addiction, but there are several countries like Canada that allow and have legalized the utilization of hemp for different applications, including the food industry.

Hemp biofuel is produced by extracting the hemp oil from the hemp seeds. This is the same oil used for human health and food consumption. Nowadays, the bulk of hemp production is for this purpose because of its better price and its high nutritional content. Hemp seeds that are in surplus or excess are used for deriving hemp bio-fuel (Jessen, 2007). The commonly used sources for biofuel today are canola oil, rapeseed, and soya oil. Hemp oil, however, is said to have a better cloud point than these currently used oils.

Cloud point is the temperature below which biowax forms a cloudy appearance. Cloud point is important in distinguishing the storage stability of the fuels. Aside from this, hemp oil also has a better cetane value (Jessen, 2007). Cetane value is recognized as the ignition value of fuels; it is ideal that fuels have a high ignition capacity for more efficient combustion.

Once hemp becomes reutilized for its countless derivatives, then there will be a significant change in how people perceive this superplant. It is not just an illegal plant, but a plant that has a vast quantity of potential applications. It is said that hemp has 25,000 uses. A plant like cannabis which has so many purposes must be legalized. It should be understood and studied for the betterment of society and the environment. Hemp is an excellent alternative for petroleum and other bio-fuel producing plants.

We can conserve the remaining oil reservoirs by replacing fossil fuel with hemp biofuel, and we can also increase the production of biofuels by adding hemp to the list of biofuel-producing plants. Hemp is also an excellent replacement for other bio-fuel producing plants since it can thrive in harsh and infertile environments. It is also common knowledge that the burning of petroleum fuels has an adverse impact on the environment as it is burned, but the use of biofuels is considered to be a green alternative to these destructive fuels.

When there are enough plantations and sources for hemp seeds, and the production of biofuels is improved and developed, there will be no need to drill for fossil fuels, which will be far more expensive in the future. It was Henry Fords intention to run and lubricate his automobiles with hemp oil and fuel. When the farms become sufficient for mass production, the hemp renewable energy source will be at hand, and there will be no more scarcity of fuel.

The use of hemp as a fuel or biodiesel will give us a new lease on life for an ever-changing society. People are adopting a greener lifestyle as an act to conserve and protect the planet from harmful and destructive chemicals. It can be a tool to start a promising and better future. It is a cleaner, greener, and more efficient option for fuel production. Hemp is a magnificent plant that can serve as the source for eradicating our addiction to petroleum fuels; it should be utilized immediately.

The world needs innovation and improvement, and this should start by changing the ways of the people and by finding safer alternatives to harmful products. One way is to improve the use of our resources. It is time to start living a more sustainable life in which our current and future generations will benefit.