Hemp is at least four times richer in biomass/cellulose potential than its nearest rivals: cornstalks, sugarcane, kenaf, trees, etc.
Hemp produces the most biomass of any crop, which is why it is the natural choice for an energy crop. Hemp converts the sun's energy into cellulose faster than any other plant, through photosynthesis. Hemp can produce 10 tons of biomass per acre every four months. Enough energy could be produced on 6% of the land in the U.S. to provide enough energy for our entire country (cars, heat homes, electricity, industry) -- and we use 25% of the world's energy.
To put which in perspective, right now we pay farmers not to grow on 6% (around 90 million acres) of the farming land, while another 500 million acres of marginal farmland lies fallow. This land could be used to grow hemp as an energy crop.
The most important aspect of industrial hemp farming, the most compelling thing hemp offers us, is fuel. Right now we are depleting our reserves of petroleum and buying it up from our Arab enemies. It would be nice if we could have a fuel source which was reusable and which we could grow right here, making us completely energy independent.
Petroleum fuel increases carbon monoxide in the atmosphere and contributes heavily to global warming and the greenhouse effect, which, the EPA has warned, will lead to global catastrophe in the next 50 years if these trends continue. Do you want to find out if they are right, or do you want to grow the most cost effective and environmentally safe fuel source on the planet?
Using hemp as an energy and rotation crop would be a great step in the right direction.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil has historically been used as lamp oil. It is said to shine the brightest of all lamp oils. Hemp seed oil lit the lamps of Abraham Lincoln, Abraham the prophet, and was used in the legendary lamps of Aladdin.
Anything which can be made from fossil fuels can be made from an organic substance like hemp. Toxic petrochemicals can be replaced with hemp oil.
Hemp oil can be made into anything with an oil base, including paint, varnish, detergent, solvent, and lubricating oil. The advantage of these product is that they are earth friendly and biodegradable, and do not destroy ecosystems around them like petrochemicals do.
Until the 1930s most paint and varnishes were made with non-toxic hemp oil. Hemp paint provides superior coating because hemp oil soaks into and preserves wood, due to its high resistance to water.
Hemp oil is a good base for non-toxic printing inks. Soy is currently made into inks, but soy ink requires more processing and takes longer to dry than hemp oil based inks.
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