Monday, May 19, 2008

Hemp powered vehicles

Hemp is a controversial material, part of the famous family of plants known as Cannabis Sativa. Hemp grown for industrial use is very low in THC the psychoactive chemical in its famous sister marijuana thus making industrial hemp useless as a drug.

Ironically, Hemp powered cars was the dream of both Henry Ford and Rudolf Diesel. However, gasoline powered engines became so cheap to manufacturer and were easy to maintain so they caught on in the automotive industry even though the pioneers had other dreams.

Now that we’ve nearly liquidated the world’s oil reserves we should take a look back at the pioneers of the automotive industry’s original ideas.

Hemp was a mainstream crop in the United States

From 1776 to 1937, hemp was a major American crop and textiles made from hemp were common. Yet, The American Textile Museum, The Smithsonian Institute, and most American history books contain no mention of hemp. The government’s War on Marijuana Smokers has created an atmosphere of self censorship–speaking of hemp in a positive manner is considered taboo.

Hemp is ridiculously easy to produce, is a major source of ethanol that would allow the use to curb food shortages as a result of Corn and Grain Farmers being asked to sell their grain to ethanol manufacturers.

Hemp should be legalized its a much faster source of ethanol in that it can be harvested in 120 days after it has been planted with much larger crops. It’s also a great alternative when manufactured as biodiesel.

Via ridelust.

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