Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hemp for paper, bio-fuel, food and more

A follow up to the news of the GMO Eucalyptus trees being planted for paper and bio-fuel production, I asked why not hemp?
The answer, as James put it, is likely because it is perfect for the job.

Here is some info!

Paper made from hemp lasts hundreds of years longer than wood-pulp paper, which decomposes and yellows with age. Hemp paper resists decomposition and does not yellow with age.

“While the hemp paper in volumes 300-400 years old is still strong, 97% of the books, printed between 1900 and 1937 on tree paper, will be useable for less than 50 years.” Hemp paper can be recycled 7 to 8 times, compared with only 3 times for wood pulp paper.

The USDA reported in 1916 that an acre of hemp produced as much paper as four acres of trees annually , yet 70% of American forest have been destroyed since 1916.

Hemp paper doesn’t require toxic bleaching chemicals. It can be whitened with hydrogen peroxide, which doesn’t poison waterways as chloride and bleach--the chemicals used in making wood pulp paper--do.

On the other hand- 3 million tons of chlorine, a major source of carcinogen dioxin, is dumped into our waterways each year from paper companies. Every woman alive today carries some trace of dioxin in her breast milk. Dioxin is considered one of the most toxic substances ever produced = cancer, liver failure, miscarriage, birth defects, and genetic damage.

Hemp as a bio-fuel

  • Hemp grown for the production of biomass fuels can provide all of our gas, oil and coal energy needs and end dependency on fossil fuels.
  • Hemp results in a 95.5% fuel-to-feed ratio when used for pyrolysis the thermochemical process that converts organic matter into fuel.
  • Biomass has heating value of up to 8,000 BTU/lb., with virtually no residual sulphur or ash during combustion.
  • Biomass fuels offer a clean alternative to fossil fuels. No sulphur oxides are released, either during pyrolysis or combustion
  • Hemp is the #1 producer of biomass per acre in the world.
Hemp is beneficial to the soil and other plants, and requires virtually no pesticides

  • Hemp is very easy on the soil and returns up to 60% of the nutrients it takes from the soil, when dried in the field.
  • A report from Kentucky states that hemp was grown on the same land for 14 consecutive years without soil depletion or reduction in yield.
  • Hemp is very economical crop to grow since it requires virtually no pesticide applications.
  • Hemp is also relatively drought-resistant and has been relied upon several times during drought-induced famine for its high protein seed.
  • Hemp is very resistant to increased UV radiation and should not suffer decreased yields, unlike soya bean and corn.
Hemp will, quite clearly, impact on the petrochemical business. Which is tied in with the chemical fertilizer business and the gmo business etc., etc., It can be grown by anyone and has literally hundreds of uses.


  1. Why not hemp that would make to much sense Penny. Given the fact that America was built on Hemp, and that it virtually grows anywhere, would just completely destroy the monopoly dynasty whores. Plus it's not GMO, so it can't be patented or destroy our ecosystem . It's also a nutritious food and we just can't have people healthy and self sufficient. The vampires would rather feed off the death and destruction.

  2. Its not hemp that makes the difference, its the process used to make pulp where the problem lies. The Kraft process uses harsh chemical to cook the wood (or hemp) then bleaches it with chlorine dioxide. The Kraft process uses huge volumes of water which must be treated and there is a pungent odor as well. The dioxin problem has been solved for 10 years now by the way. There is another process that uses half the volume of wood and does not put a drop of effluent into the ecosystem. The process is called BCTMP and it uses mechanical energy to make pulp and bleaches with hydrogen peroxide. This makes very good pulp using fast growing plantation grown wood such as acacia or eucalyptus.And yes, hemp has been tried using this process but unfortunately, hemp makes lousey pulp and the papermakers don't like it as the fibers are too coarse. You are right though, hemp fibers are very strong and resiliant.

  3. hey jberd!

    "given the fact that america was built on hemp"

    I have read that quite a bit, in fact the founding fathers were some of the people who grew it.

    And, is it the declaration of indepedence that is written on it?

    trying to go on recall here...

  4. Tim Evans;

    I beg to differ on, it is not the hemp that makes a difference.

    It is the hemp that makes the difference.

    Look at the recyclability of hemp vs tree pulp.

    The productivity capability

    I do find it odd that hemp pulp makes lousy paper...since it is some of the oldest paper around and still intact.vs wood pulp

    from my reading on this subject, the paper used to produce cigarettes, that which holds the tobacco, is as much as 50percent hemp.

    plus there is the myriad of other uses...