July 28, 2018

In a world where our environment is deteriorating more quickly than we can keep up with, turning to a more environmentally friendly source of fuel is paramount. Hemp biofuel has been a known option since the days of Henry Ford, who was a supporter of hemp as a replacement for typical petroleum fuel. However, America’s dependence on petroleum has only grown since the early 1900’s. Now, America has almost depleted its sources of petroleum and has begun to get fossil fuels from other countries. This is expensive and unsustainable.

A great option for an alternative, hemp fuel is produced from hemp’s waste products, which leave behind methanol and ethanol. One acre of hemp can produce about 1,000 gallons of fuel. On the other hand, petroleum oil is becoming more and more scarce.

Hemp fuel is far better for the environment because when hemp is burned for fuel, the carbon dioxide that is released into the air is reabsorbed by the next crop of hemp, which can be harvested only four months later. This prevents a harmful carbon dioxide build up. Also, hemp is a very leafy, dense plant. As such, hemp releases more oxygen than most plants do, which mitigates the harmful effects of a release of carbon dioxide. Hemp fuel is also beneficial for the vehicle! Biofuel is more lubricating than petroleum and does not harm the torque or ignition of the car. Hemp is also a better alternative because it is renewable. The plant grows consistently and quickly and has the potential to take over the fuel industry. Petroleum, on the other hand, is quickly being depleted. It is becoming increasingly expensive to purchase petroleum and we are forced to go to international resources, which will also eventually run out. Hemp, on the other hand, can be grown domestically in any climate or environment. 

For hemp fuel to successfully replace fossil fuels and petroleum, it would have to become more widely legalized across the United States. As of now, it is legal to grow hemp in only 13 states. This causes hemp products, including hemp fuel, to be more expensive and less realistic as a replacement. Once the United States can accept hemp more widely and create more efficient manufacturing, hemp fuel can become a more practical, cost-effective possibility to replace harmful petroleum fuel. Though not a practical choice currently, hemp will become a reliable choice in the future!

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