Hemp MythBusters — Can hemp biodiesel replace standard diesel?

  • Class 8 vehicles (buses, semis, garbage trucks, etc.)
  • Ocean bound ships
  • Rail locomotives
  • Construction equipment (bulldozers, excavators, dump trucks, etc.)
  • Higher torque
  • Higher compression ratios
  • Higher energy density
  • Soybean Oil (52%)
  • Recycled feeds (13%)
  • Corn oil (13%)
  • Canola oil (12%)
  • Animal fats (10%)
  • The amount of land required for hemp biodiesel to replace standard diesel
  • Cost differentials
  • Effect on the food supply
  • Technical complications
  • 7.5 billion — population of Earth
  • 4.62 billion — acres farmed on Earth (USGS Survey)
  • Reduced energy content (117,000 BTUs for biodiesel to 131,000 BTU petroleum diesel). This leads to lower power and lower overall fuel economy and range. (PennState Extension)
  • High cloud point (30–50 degree cloud point). Leads to clogged fuel lines, clogged filters and problems with cold starting. Further, different feedstocks maintain different cloud points which can lead to quality consistency problems. (Bell Performance)
  • Water absorption. Biodiesel is able to absorb and hold water. This water can reduce autoignition as water is non combustible as well as leading to ice formation within the fuel system in colder climates. Further, biodiesel can be a food source for bacteria and other microbes which can grow within the absorbed water and lead to clogged fuel filters and more rapid degradation of the biodiesel. (Bell Performance)

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Taylor Woods

Taylor Woods

Unlocking the potential of cannabis through science, engineering and entrepreneurship.