Hemp ethanol: how it is produced and why it could become the fuel of the future

How is hemp ethanol produced?

Will our great-grandchildren drive cars that run on cannabis? Maybe, yes

The versatility of hemp is well known. Many valuable products can be obtained from this plant for many purposes: textile fibres, cosmetics, foodstuffs, and health preparations based on legal cannabis, such as CBD oil and even fuels!

Have you ever heard of hemp ethanol? It seems it could be an alternative to traditional fuels that have been irreparably polluting our planet for decades. In short, the solution to the damage caused by oil and its derivatives could come from cannabis!

Incredible, isn’t it?

If you would like to know more about this topic, in the following article, I will explain how hemp ethanol is produced, what its advantages are and whether it can become the fuel of the future.

An ethanol plant

What is hemp ethanol, and how is it produced?

You may not be familiar with the word ‘ethanol’, but know that it stands for something you’ve seen time and time again: it is nothing more than food-grade alcohol, the kind you find in wine, beer, grappa and all other alcoholic beverages.
In the form of bioethanol, it can be used as a biological additive in fuels, in percentages that vary depending on the type of engine. For example, petrol engines can handle a maximum concentration of this substance of 10%.

A short chemistry lesson: Bioethanol is produced by alcoholic fermentation, a process in which bacteria metabolise sugars into ethanol, carbon dioxide and heat. The starting material is so-called plant biomass, i.e. sets of agricultural products that are particularly rich in carbohydrates.

You should know that hemp can also be used to produce this fuel through the fermentation of the cellulose contained in the plant’s stalk. In particular, with one tonne of biomass derived from cannabis, it is possible to obtain up to 300 litres of bioethanol.

In short, by processing agricultural products, including hemp, we can obtain an alternative to traditional fuels. All that remains to be seen is whether bioethanol is more advantageous than petrol and diesel and whether it is possible to produce large quantities of it sustainably to make it the future fuel.

Read also: Bediol: what you need to know about this medical cannabis strain

Hemp ethanol vs traditional fuels: here are the pros and cons

Think of all the damage caused by fuels every year:

  • The air becomes saturated with harmful substances.
  • The incidence of respiratory diseases increases steadily.
  • Their refining and transport continue to poison the planet.

And as if that were not enough, we know that the natural resources from which they are made are not infinite but could run out in this century.

Hemp bioethanol, on the other hand, is a renewable energy source and has many advantages for the environment and human health:

  • its combustion does not produce sulphur, one of the most dangerous pollutants for the atmosphere, animal species and humans;
  • its synthesis produces far fewer harmful substances than those released during the refining of traditional fuels;
  • as it is not a petroleum derivative, it can be produced without invasive interventions that destabilise the soil, such as the drilling typically used to extract black gold.

So, hemp bioethanol seems to be an excellent alternative to traditional fuels, but could it be produced in sufficient quantities to meet the whole world’s needs?

Hemp ethanol-future

Hemp ethanol as fuel: what are the prospects for the future?

Do you remember what I explained in the first paragraph? On average, about 300 litres of hemp bioethanol can be synthesised for every tonne of biomass.

Let’s start with this figure to see if it is encouraging: here is some information about the American market.

In the United States, one of the world’s largest producers of hemp, about 20 tonnes of biomass are produced per year for every hectare of land planted with cannabis. With a simple calculation, we can say that an area of this size allows the synthesis of 6,000 litres of bioethanol.

The annual fuel consumption of Americans amounts to about 530 billion litres. So it means that to adopt the bioethanol alternative fully, the US would have to dedicate at least 88 million hectares to hemp cultivation. And do you know what the total area of agricultural land in the USA is? 94 million hectares!

In short, if all Americans wanted to use bioethanol as fuel, hemp would have to be grown almost exclusively in the United States. That is why, at present, it is not possible to imagine a near future where cannabis will replace petrol, diesel, methane, etc. However, the change could happen.

However, the change could take place gradually, pending technological innovations that will increase biomass yield so that we can start building a greener future as soon as possible.

Read also: Bedrocan: what it is, what it is used for and when it can be prescribed

In conclusion

We have explained what hemp ethanol is, how it is produced and its advantages over traditional fuels. This substance could be an invaluable resource for protecting the environment and living beings from the harmful effects of oil use.

Will it be the fuel of the future? Perhaps the time is not yet ripe, but we hope this excellent opportunity to lay the foundations for a cleaner, healthier planet will not be missed.

Before we say goodbye, I invite you to look at the shop of JustBob.shop, the number 1 legal hemp website on the web. You can buy CBD oil, light cannabis buds, and many other high-quality products on our website.

We look forward to seeing you on JustBob!