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Open Forum: A look at the hemp plant

In a recent Vox Pop titled “No Thanks” the caller spoke out against ethanol.  I also say “No Thanks” to ethanol. Alcohol yes! Did you know Henry Ford’s original automobiles ran on alcohol? Back in the day it was very common for people to have a still to make alcohol for fuel. Prohibition ended that.

Another casualty of prohibition was the hemp plant. Any land that will grow corn, will grow hemp. The hemp fiber is better then cotton for clothing and paper as well as many other uses. Hemp plants are huge resembling trees.  Like bamboo they grow fast. The clothing and paper produced from hemp is just as white and soft as any from cotton; the paper due to the long fibers can be recycled more times then the wood fiber. As clothing the cloth is more durable and holds color better.

What does this have to do with alcohol? All the products I just mentioned are made from the stalk of the hemp plant. The branches and leaves typically aren’t used for cloth or paper. Seeds are removed from the canopy for new crops, oils and animal feed. The leaves and branches can be ground up and turned into a high grade alcohol. All this from the same anchorage to grow corn with a much higher end product yield.

Alcohol is the cleanest burning fuel we have. The emissions from it as a motor fuel are clean. Alcohol is highly renewable; it can be made from almost any biomass. Even old doughnuts. Alcohol can be used to generate electricity too!

Corn renders a small amount of fuel comparatively. Say no to ethanol and yes to hemp and real alcohol fuels. The fastest cars at BIR run on alcohol.

FYI: you can’t get high from hemp.

Steven Wolff