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Hemp A Cheap Alternative To Fossil Fuels


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With an election just around the corner in 2008 we as young Americans are most concerned with our futures as well as the next generation. Hot topics on Capitol Hill are global warming, dependence on foreign fuels and the search for a renewable fuel source. All of which could be solved with the utilization of hemp.

In July 2005, Cornell University published a study saying it is not economical to produce ethanol or biodiesel from corn and other crops. The study confirmed what other studies have shown in the past. The vegetable sources that are currently (legally) available are insufficient. Hemp is the only proven source for economical biomass fuels.

Biomass is the term used to describe all biologically produced matter, according to Lynn Osburn, the author of Energy Farming in America. She also writes methanol powered automobiles and reduced emissions from coal-fired power plants can be accomplished by biomass conversion to fuel utilizing pyrolysis technology, and at the same time save the American family farm while turning the American heartland into a prosperous source of clean energy production.

Pyrolysis refers to the rapid thermal decomposition of biomass and organic compounds in the absence of oxygen to produce liquids, gases and char (also called flash pyrolysis).

The hemp crop itself would not only provide cleaner air and, once converted into fuel, burn cleaner, but it would also provide more economic stability for our countries farmers. Osburn writes, "Farmers must be allowed to grow an energy crop capable of producing 10 tons per acre in 90 to 120 days. It must be able to grow in all climactic zones in America."

Hemp is drought resistant, making it an ideal crop in the dry western regions of the country. Hemp is the only biomass resource capable of making America energy independent. And our government outlawed it in 1938.

"The argument against hemp production does not hold up to scrutiny: hemp grown for biomass makes very poor grade marijuana," according to HEMP Q & A at The Ohio State University. "The 20 to 40 million Americans who smoke marijuana would loath to smoke hemp grown for biomass, so a farmer's hemp biomass crop is worthless as marijuana."

"When farmers can make a profit growing energy, it will not take long to get six percent of continental American land mass into cultivation of biomass fuel- enough to replace our economy's dependence on fossil fuels," Osburn said. "The threat of global greenhouse warming and adverse climactic change will diminish. To keep costs down, pyrolysis reactors need to be located close to the energy farms. This necessity will bring life back to our small towns by providing jobs locally."

Hemp is the number one biomass producer on Earth. This energy crop can be harvested with equipment readily available. It can be "cubed" by modifying hay-cubing equipment. This method condenses the bulk, reducing trucking costs from the field to the reactor. And the biomass cubes are ready for conversion with no further treatment, according to Osburn.

Hemp provides jobs, renewing the economic prosperity of farmers. Hemp is also a clean and efficient renewable fuel source, while still keeping the main concern at bay. As always, the power of this nation is in the hands of its people and it is time for this nation to flourish under the legalization of industrial hemp, as it did in the past.

News Moderator: CoZmO - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: The News Record (Cincinnati OH)
Author: Ian Haines
Contact: news.newsrecord@gmail.com
Copyright: 2007 The News Record
Website: Hemp a cheap alternative to fossil fuels
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