Petroleum is a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons present in certain rocks that are buried deep into the ground. These underground rocks can be extracted (called fracking) and refined to produce fuels, such as gasoline, kerosene, and diesel oil, or oil. Oil is the world’s primary fuel source for transportation. This includes cars, motorcycles, trucks, boats, buses, trains, airplanes, helicopters, ships, private jets, etc. Oil is also the most destructive and environmentally harmful industry for our planet.
Fracking is the main method used to get petroleum (or fossil fuels) out of the earth. It consists of injecting liquid at a high pressure into underground rocks to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas. Fracking is supposed to give us cheaper and cleaner fuel, but in reality it contaminates fresh water and emits an enormous amount of CO2 into the air. According to the US Department of Energy, “The burning of fossil fuels produces around 21.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, but it is estimated that natural processes can only absorb about half of that amount, so there is a net increase of 10.65 billion tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year.” This emission of carbon dioxide enhances radiative forcing and contributes to global warming, causing the average surface temperature of the Earth to rise in response, which causes major adverse effects on the environment.
Hemp is the super-plant that can be processed into a biofuel and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions at the same time, which is a great alternative to help the planet. Hemp can be processed into two types of fuels: Hemp biodiesel (made from the oil of the pressed hemp seed), and Hemp ethanol/methanol (made from the fermented stalk). When an energy crop like Hemp is grown on a massive scale, it initially lowers the CO2 in the air, and then stabilizes it at a level lower than before the energy plant was planted.
Hemp produces the most biomass of any crop, which is why it is the #1 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. Each acre of Hemp could yield about 1000 gallons of methanol. 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. Producing Hemp for fuel is simply a matter of growing, harvesting, and processing. Hemp can make local, clean, and safe energy while creating jobs and benefiting local economies. It is our time now to utilize the Hemp plant to create a more sustainable environment for all forms of life!