By: Rubina Obaid
Hemp which is known as industrial hemp, is actually a Cannabis Sativa species of the marijuana plant. The organic material of hemp which is left over after the flowers are harvested and processed. The residual part such as leaves and the stalk is then used for biomass. Through hemp flower, CBD hemp biomass is obtained which is also a cash crop for farmers. The other type of hemp fiber biomass is obtained through stalks and leaves of the hemp plant. Over the decades there is a massive increase in using hemp products for a range of industrial purposes and the production of biomass. Industrial hemp helps in producing two bioenergy options. Pelleting industrial hemp, which is used for heating fuel and the other one is delivering hemp biomass to local refinery which is then converted into cellulosic biofuel.
Bioenergy is one of the major sources of obtaining renewable energy. Cultivating crops that are used for obtaining sustainable energy helps greatly in replacing fossil-based fuel energy sources and plays a pivotal role in switching towards green energy. However, the energy use of industrial hemp is still very limited due to its abusive use as a drug. Regardless of numerous limitations and conspiracies a French start-up recently declared to go into the trials using hemp biomass for the production of bioenergy with the plans to go into full production by 2022. Qairos Energies, based in Mareil-en-Champagne near Le Mans in northwestern France, said they will turn out hydrogen, which will then be converted into electricity for fuel cells. The biofuel will be used to power buses and trains. Methane gas will also be produced in the operation of Gaz Reseau Distribution, France. It will be an exclusive distributor of natural gas in France and one of the leading distributors in Europe as well.
Biological digestion or the process of chemical distribution is applied to convert hemp biomass into fuel. In this process hemp biomass is ground up and subjected to high temperatures that will transform it into methane, hydrogen, and CO2. Qairos said it will source local hemp within a 35 Kms radius of its planned production facility, depends upon 150 members of Fermiers de Loue which is an agriculture cooperative, responsible to supply the biomass. A small harvest will be used for trial this summer to further finalize the decision of industrialization and development process. The automotive engineer by training added that the goal for next year is to get local farmers to plant 350 hectares to initiate the operation by 2022. Biogas obtained through hemp can compete with the production from Maize, especially in cold regions. Hemp functions pretty well in crop rationing, being an annual crop. However, small scale production of hemp briquettes has also revealed economical feasibility. To use hemp fiber, oil and other compounds reflected more environmentally friendly results. The energy in the fiber products can also be used even when it becomes waste.