Akakor Hemp-Ethanol Permaculture Community
Doing what's right for the planet

Demystifying hemp

Male hemp plant (left) and female hemp plant (below)

What is industrial Hemp?

The hemp plant is harvested for its fibers, seed, seed oil and now for its Ethanol fuel thanks to the work of cellulosic enzymes.

Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. Due to the similar leaf shape, hemp is frequently confused with marijuana. Although both plants are from the species cannabis, hemp contains virtually no THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana. Hemp cannot be used as a drug because it produces virtually no THC (less than 1%), where marijuana produces between 5 - 20 % THC. The conceived relation between Industrial Hemp and Marijuana has slowed down Industrial Hemp regulations and developments in Canada and around the world for many years.

Hemp is a renewable resource similar to trees and other plant materials which all have the ability of creating products usually produced from a non-renewable resource. Ethanol from hemp is liquid sunshine for your car, an affordable supply that never runs out.

Hemp is grown on land which is incapable of human food production, thus not disrupting human food supply. Hemp can be grown in many climates around the world, it is a very fast growing plant which matures in under three months in optimal conditions. The plants themselves are very resistant to pests, droughts and can handle freezing temperatures without sustaining damage. In northern latitudes, hemp is usually planted between early March and late May. Hemp averages between 2 - 4 meters in height in about four months of growth.

Hemp plants can achieve high yields on a per acre basis, if grown correctly it does not degrade soil and requires little or no fertilizer with high yields achievable. Hemp is also very easy to process when used in suitable conditions compared to harder materials like wood, this decreases processing costs remarkably.

Our main products will be fuel grade Ethanol, high protein animal feed as well as human grade high protein hemp seed snacks.

Our raw hemp fibers may also be purchased from us for other products such as paper and clothing manufacturing.

There are well over 20,000 known products that can be produced from Hemp which we will be looking into as well down the road.

Ethanol fuel is an alternative to gasoline (a waste product of the oil industry). Ethanol can be combined with gasoline in any concentration up to %85 (E85) in your current vehicle, or with a basic conversion kit you can run your current automobile on 100% Ethanol. Our front page contains "The Two Minute Summary" written by David Blume which explains some important basics reagrding Ethanol in great detail, however the following details go into the specifics regarding "Cellulosic Ethanol" and just what this means.

Cellulose (C6H10O5)n is a complex carbohydrate (a long-chain polymeric polysaccharide of beta-glucose) that forms the main constituent of the cell wall in most plants. It is the most abundant form of living terrestrial biomass. Cellulosic biomass has three primary components: cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Lignin and cellulose, considered together, are termed lignocellulose, which (as wood) is argued to be one of the most common biopolymers on Earth. While most animals, including humans can not digest cellulose, some, particularly ruminants (such as cows) and termites, can digest cellulose with the help of symbiotic micro-organisms.

While ethanol production from sugars and starches has been done for thousands of years, the technology to produce ethanol from cellulose is relatively new and is on the way to becoming fully commercialized.

The conversion process uses enzymes, like cellulase, to break cellulose down to sugars. It is also possible to produce biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks through gasification and biomass-to-liquids technologies.

Cellulosic biomass from fast-growing perennial energy crops, such as short rotation woody crops and tall grass crops, can be grown on a much wider range of soil types, where the extensive root systems that remain in place with these crops help prevent erosion, and increase carbon storage in soil.

Compared to conventional crops, where only small portion of the plant can be used for biofuel production, perennial energy crops can supply much more biomass per hectare of land, since nearly the entire plant can be used as feedstock.

Cellulosic biomass can be easier to store for long periods of time.

Conversion kits for both fuel injected and carbureted vehicles can also be purchased from us. These kits allow any vehicle to use any blend of up to 100% ethanol, and already some newer vehicles will handle 100% ethanol with no ill effects without a conversion kit. Our fuel conversion kits are sourced from a manufacturer within the USA at a very competitive price. We can supply vast amounts of these kits at a very short notice.

Hemp seed is about 25% protein. It is a high-quality, nutritionally-complete food eaten in many cultures for thousands of years. In the Orient, it was often eaten like oatmeal. It is more digestible than soy protein and provides essential fatty acids, fiber and a complete protein all in one food. Hemp seed oil is a superb cooking oil, lubricating oil and fuel oil. It can be used in shampoo, hair and skin cream, soap, cosmetics, massage oil and moisturizers. The oil also makes excellent paint, varnishes, lacquer and sealants. When hemp cultivation was banned in 1937, hemp seed oil was exempted, as it was so important for paints, varnishes and lubricating oil.

Hemp is a very ancient source of medicine. It is mentioned by the famous physician Galen. Several chemicals have been isolated from the hemp leaf and seeds. Medicinal effects include stimulating the appetite, reducing nausea, lowering pressure in the eyes, stimulating the immune system and reduces pain, especially migraine headache pain. It is an antibacterial, antiviral, anti-convulsant, bronchodilator and expectorant. It reduces spasticity and ataxia in multiple sclerosis, stops menstrual bleeding and helps PMS and the pain of childbirth.

Ethanol yields per acre per annum from various feedstocks. Based on average yields per acre according to Bio Gas Company LTD of New Zealand.

Yields in litres per acre. Based on average yields per acre.

Apples 600-1000
Potatoes 1200-1500
Willow Tree (salix) 1300-1700
Corn 1300-1800
Sugar Beet 1700-2100
Sorghum Cane 2100-2400
Maize 1750-2500
Hemp (BGC) 6000-10000

This chart does not contain the large range of difficulty and widespread issues that some of these feedstock's require for processing.

As you can see from the chart above Hemp produces up to 10,000 litres per acre compared to only 1,500 maximum for corn. That is over 6 times more fuel than from corn per acre.

Hemp is a miracle plant for fuel and food, and that's why it's our primary choice for all our products so we can all live healthier and happier lives while cleaning and re-greening the planet together.

Our front page introduction to Liquid Sunshine.

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