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Author Topic: Industrial Hemp  (Read 28678 times)

RhythmStar

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2003, 01:04:04 am »

Biomass can never replace fossil fuels, at least without the wholesale destruction of natural ecosystems.  We suck down over 20 million barrels per day of petroleum here in the USA.  Calculate that in cultivated acres (it comes to almost 86,000 square miles to harvest 20 million bbls of hemp oil).  Assuming 2 harvests a year, that would take about 15 million square miles of hemp (way more than the land area of the continental US).  We haven't even factored in the loss in conversion from hemp oil to useable petroleum.

We will need solar AND nuclear AND coal AND garbage oil AND wind AND everything else we know of now to replace petroleum.  As the 3rd world catches up in consumerism, this can only get worse.

Off-planet is the only possible future for humankind long-term.

RS
 
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anarchicluv

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2003, 01:25:13 am »

Biomass can never replace fossil fuels, at least without the wholesale destruction of natural ecosystems.  We suck down over 20 million barrels per day of petroleum here in the USA.  Calculate that in cultivated acres (it comes to almost 86,000 square miles to harvest 20 million bbls of hemp oil).  Assuming 2 harvests a year, that would take about 15 million square miles of hemp (way more than the land area of the continental US).  We haven't even factored in the loss in conversion from hemp oil to useable petroleum.

We will need solar AND nuclear AND coal AND garbage oil AND wind AND everything else we know of now to replace petroleum.  As the 3rd world catches up in consumerism, this can only get worse.

Off-planet is the only possible future for humankind long-term.

RS

Hmm...interesting attempt at refuting hemp as a viable fuel alternative.  Where did you get your data?  Especially the "conversion from hemp oil to useable petroleum" part?  Hemp is a biomass fuel, which is to say it isn't petroleum.

Though I'm not saying hemp is the answer to all of our energy needs, I will say that it's a lot more promising than you would make it seem.  

The earth is abundant; what we need is a change in human attitude.

Anyhow; as you were...

Jeremy

PS hemp oil is used in diesel engines, many of them getting 50+ mpg.  That might throw a wrench into your calculations.
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RhythmStar

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2003, 04:49:11 am »

Hmm...interesting attempt at refuting hemp as a viable fuel alternative.  Where did you get your data?  

NORML for the estimate of 20 gallons of hemp oil per acre.

Quote
Especially the "conversion from hemp oil to useable petroleum" part?  Hemp is a biomass fuel, which is to say it isn't petroleum.

I didn't figure that in, as I said.  If you can burn it in deisel engines, fine.  Anyway, thermal de-polymerization processing might only lose 80% (oops -- I meant that to be 20%, leaving 80%) in conversion to a fuel more compatible with gasoline.


Quote
Though I'm not saying hemp is the answer to all of our energy needs, I will say that it's a lot more promising than you would make it seem.  

The earth is abundant; what we need is a change in human attitude.

Abundant, yes, infinite, no.  Mass cultivation takes up LOTS of land.  We burn HUGE amounts of petroleum.  

RS
« Last Edit: July 15, 2003, 09:10:01 am by RhythmStar »
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heyerstandards

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2003, 08:34:16 am »

Here's the article on thermal depolymerization. (Basically cracks carbon based anything into petroleum products.  Got turkey offal? Biomass? Cattle carcasses? Fascinating stuff, and it doesn't necessarily require  [Free State] to operate.

http://www.discover.com/may_03/featoil.html
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anarchicluv

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2003, 10:25:03 am »

I'll leave the debate up to all of those who care.  

Meanwhile, I will be working on purchasing a VW Golf TDI (diesel; 50mpg) and making the proper mods to the engine (about $1,000) required to run it off of pure vegetable oils (hemp oil is my preferred fuel).  

Jeremy
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lloydbob1

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2003, 10:40:06 am »

Again, Once the legal restraints are lifted, Hemp can compete with all of  the existing supplies of fuel, fiber etc. that we presently use.
I remember during the gas shortage in the 70's, there was talk of squeezing Shale and some kind of petroleum laden plant for fuel.
One thing for sure that will bring about research and results for fuel alternatives is when the oil actually begins to run out or the Mid-east is blown off the planet!
Lloyd
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Karl

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2003, 11:11:42 am »

One thing for sure that will bring about research and results for fuel alternatives is when the oil actually begins to run out or the Mid-east is blown off the planet!

There is a widely believed "alternative fuel" myth that states that when the fossil fuels run out, we'll "easily" research our way of the problem.  I'm skeptical.  Sure, we will use new fuels, not because they are superior, but because there is no other choice.  Energy in the post-fossil fuel era will be far more expensive than it is today.

Hemp may make a fine fuel in that era, but for the next 50 years, forget it.

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Zack Bass

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2003, 11:58:46 am »


Again, Once the legal restraints are lifted, Hemp can compete with all of  the existing supplies of fuel, fiber etc. that we presently use.


Again, in most parts of the world there are no legal restraints, and yet they don't make use of this miracle crop.

"Legal Restraints" is the conspiracy code word used by those who are hard-pressed to understand why their favorite miracle isn't accepted.

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Zack Bass

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2003, 12:03:35 pm »


Here's the article on thermal depolymerization. (Basically cracks carbon based anything into petroleum products.  Got turkey offal? Biomass? Cattle carcasses?


This one sounds great.  It's chemically, physically, and thermodynamically possible, and no one has yet said there's a Conspiracy that explains why it hasn't been accepted.  Could be that it'll be shown to work as time goes by.  If it works with something non-greasy, not turkey guts, then I'll be very enthusiastic about it.  The one existing plant can't be relied on as a good prototype, since it's already consuming most of the turkey guts in the U.S.  But it does sound like this type of process will work with lots of other feedstock.  I  like it so far.

One thing I wonder:  What happens if you feed it crude petroleum?  The hype says everything comes out half diesel, half gasoline.  If so, then it sounds like it's better and smaller-scale than the huge cracking plants the oil companies build.  This sounds too good to be true and is a red flag.

« Last Edit: July 15, 2003, 12:06:05 pm by Zack Bass »
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jubail1999

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2003, 12:13:31 pm »


Here's the article on thermal depolymerization. (Basically cracks carbon based anything into petroleum products.  Got turkey offal? Biomass? Cattle carcasses?


This one sounds great.  It's chemically, physically, and thermodynamically possible, and no one has yet said there's a Conspiracy that explains why it hasn't been accepted.  Could be that it'll be shown to work as time goes by.  If it works with something non-greasy, not turkey guts, then I'll be very enthusiastic about it.  The one existing plant can't be relied on as a good prototype, since it's already consuming most of the turkey guts in the U.S.  But it does sound like this type of process will work with lots of other feedstock.  I  like it so far.

One thing I wonder:  What happens if you feed it crude petroleum?  The hype says everything comes out half diesel, half gasoline.  If so, then it sounds like it's better and smaller-scale than the huge cracking plants the oil companies build.  This sounds too good to be true and is a red flag.



Zack,

After reading the article, my understanding was that the end result was basically crude oil, which then had to be further refined.  If this is so, then the process isn't too good to be true.  One can only hope.

Chuck
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Zack Bass

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2003, 01:06:31 pm »


After reading the article, my understanding was that the end result was basically crude oil, which then had to be further refined.  If this is so, then the process isn't too good to be true.  One can only hope.


Could be that's what most feedstocks end up as.  But the article did state that when you feed in turkey guts you get half gasoline and half "fuel oil", which is diesel.  That's way better than crude petroleum; that has to be catalytically "cracked" (depolymerized) to get shorter carbon chains.  This process claims to do that thermally.  Maybe it only works in the presence of water, which is absent in crude oil but abundant in most feedstocks we'd want to use.
This still sounds great; I just look out for hype, it's usually a clue to something wrong.

I have a degree in Chemistry, and everything in the article sounds reasonable to me.

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RhythmStar

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2003, 07:53:01 pm »

I'll leave the debate up to all of those who care.  

Meanwhile, I will be working on purchasing a VW Golf TDI (diesel; 50mpg) and making the proper mods to the engine (about $1,000) required to run it off of pure vegetable oils (hemp oil is my preferred fuel).  

Jeremy

Go for it!  Biofuel can be a viable option for some individuals.  I know of at least one group of Californians who formed a biofuel coop, converted their Mercedes diesels to burn veggie oil and even found local processors willing to give them free uncooked waste veggie oil.   In special situations, it can work.

It just can't work for the masses, due to, well, their massiveness.  ;)

RS
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Aaron

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2003, 08:17:26 pm »

Hmm...interesting attempt at refuting hemp as a viable fuel alternative.  Where did you get your data?  

NORML for the estimate of 20 gallons of hemp oil per acre.

R. S.,

Are you talking about hempseed oil?  I looked at the NORML website and could not find your data anywhere.  Anyway, 20 gallons per acre is way off compared to the numbers I have found.  That is why I suspect you are talking about hempseed oil, a nutritional product.  I consistently see 10 tons per acre per four month harvest 77% of which is cellulose.  That makes 7.7 tons of biomass fuel per acre per four months.  I am not quite sure how "tons" converts to "gallons", but I think that 7.7 tons is a little bit more than 20 gallons.

Using 7.7 tons instead of 20 gallons provides the concluding calculation of 6% of the area of the united states providing all of our fuel needs.

Joe,

Those are some awfully big numbers.  I bet you WOULD confuse a lot of stoners.  Oh, by the way, I couldn't find the part of your post where you explain how much it costs to put up all those solar panels as opposed to growing hemp.  Also, can you point me to how those orbital solar power stations work? How do they beam the energy back to the surface of the planet?  How much do they cost to build and launch?  How much do they cost to repair when they malfunction?  How dangerous are they when they malfuction?  How much does it cost to replace the shuttle and its payload when it explodes?

Not to say I disagree with the concept of a non-polluting source of energy that won't run out for 5 billion years.  In fact, I have never heard a pro hemp activist argue against solar power.   But the fact is a lot more technology needs to be developed before orbital solar power stations are feasible.  The technology necessary to convert hemp stalks into biomass fuel was developed in the 1930's.

Most hemp for fuel advocates argue that our reliance on fossil fuels is just wrong.  It puts people like Bush Sr. and Jr. in power.  It is horrible for the environment.  It contributes to world terrorism.  (Where did all of Bin Laden's money come from?  I'll give you a hint:  he did not make his fortune growing industrial hemp.)

Bottom line, Joe:  If two competing industries of solar and biomass were to start today, and solar would up kicking hemp's ass, I would not cry.  I would rejoice that fossil fuels would no longer be necessary.  I just personally think biomass (of which hemp is the best source) is far superior both economically and environmentally to fossil fuels and should be used until the technology of solar power is developed enough to make it superior to both.

Zack,

No legal restraints in most countries?  Wow, I didn't know all of these bastions of free market economics abound outside the U.S.  What are we doing fiddling around with this silly FSP if all these other countries have free economies?  It seems a disingenious argument to say that if it isn't being done in foreign countries then it must not be feasible.  Also I would argue that the reason it has not been done yet has more to do with inertia than conspiracy.

Joe (and others) said:
Quote
Most of the "legalize hemp" noise is a smokescreen for legalizing growing marijuana.  

I don't recall ever hiding the fact that I favor legalizing all victimless crimes, not just growing marijuana.  I didn't realize that every time I make a post about industrial hemp I am required to state my position on legalizing marijuana as some sort of "full disclosure" rule.   I am reminded of the Young Republicans in my high school when I was young.  They would often say to the small group of vocal libertarians in our class:  "You are all just a bunch of Republicans who want to smoke pot.  When are you going to give it up and join us?"

Seems as if some of you already have.
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RhythmStar

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2003, 02:25:42 pm »

Hmm...interesting attempt at refuting hemp as a viable fuel alternative.  Where did you get your data?  

NORML for the estimate of 20 gallons of hemp oil per acre.

R. S.,

Are you talking about hempseed oil?  I looked at the NORML website and could not find your data anywhere.  Anyway, 20 gallons per acre is way off compared to the numbers I have found.  That is why I suspect you are talking about hempseed oil, a nutritional product.  I consistently see 10 tons per acre per four month harvest 77% of which is cellulose.  That makes 7.7 tons of biomass fuel per acre per four months.  I am not quite sure how "tons" converts to "gallons", but I think that 7.7 tons is a little bit more than 20 gallons.

Using 7.7 tons instead of 20 gallons provides the concluding calculation of 6% of the area of the united states providing all of our fuel needs.

http://www.norml.org.nz/Hemp/Hemp_Fact_Sheet.htm

Quote
HEMP SEEDS
Hemp seed oil contains many fatty acids essential to human health, and a high proportion of amino acids in ratios appropriate for human consumption. The seed could substitute for meat in much the same way as soybeans do, and is the highest natural source of edible protein. Hemp seed oil can be used to make most things now made by petro-chemical industries (including powering cars).
A typical seed crop yields 20 to 30 bushels per acre, or about 900 to 1300 lbs per acre.
Wholesale prices for hemp seed in the USA vary between 20c - 90c per pound. (NZ 30c - $1.40)
Farmers would therefore gross between US$375 - $1200 (NZ$575 - $1850) per acre.
Pressing seeds for oil usually yields 25% oil by weight, therefore 14 - 21 gallons per acre.

Perhaps we are not talking about the same thing.  When people said 'hemp oil' I naturally thought they meant the seed oil.   If you instead mean to extract the fuel from the whole plant, then you have to have a process by which to convert cellulose to fuel.  Thermal depolymerization might be just the ticket, but how did you plan on converting this into fuel and how much energy does your process take?

RS
« Last Edit: July 16, 2003, 02:26:25 pm by RhythmStar »
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Radar

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Re:Industrial Hemp
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2003, 07:26:33 pm »

http://www.jackherer.com/book/ch09.html


6% of the total land of the United States would be well worth it to totally and completely eliminate our dependence on foreign oil and even our need for fossil fuels in general.  It would mean we'd be totally self-sufficient and wouldn't have people starting unprovoked, unconstitutional, unwarranted, imperialistic wars of terrorist aggression against non-threatening nations like Iraq to steal their oil.

Not only would this end our addiction to oil, but it would provide thousands upon thousands of new jobs, it would stimulate growth in other areas like textiles, pharmaceuticals, paper, plastics, etc.  

Some people point to very limited and tightly regulated small experiments with hemp and have suggested that because its not more popular in those areas it means it wouldn't be popular here.  This is ludicrious since its exactly those stringent regulations forced on those who produce hemp and hemp products that have made production prohibitively expensive.  With those unreasonable laws removed, the floodgates of opportunity would open and the cost of production would plummet.  The quality, quantity, and efficiency of hemp production and products from hemp such as biodeisel fuel would greatly improve.  

The best part besides avoiding many wars is our environment would improve because biomass energy using hemp is cheap, renewable, and clean.  
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