My Response to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo on Earthday Energy Policies

This is a letter I received from Anna Eshoo, my Congressional “representative”.  I think she has good intentions, just a little misguided on the facts.

April 22, 2015

Dear Friends,

A variety of statistics have been used to analyze California’s drought, but perhaps the most jaw dropping number reported in recent weeks comes from the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California. According to their estimates, more water was used to grow almonds in 2013 than was used by all homes and businesses in San Francisco and Los Angeles combined. That’s one gallon of water for every almond grown in California, and the majority of them are exported overseas.

Now this is a very real perspective.  So why are residents expected to take the brunt of water reduction? What about frackers? Not only are they using our water to pump natural gas and oil (low EROEI) but they are injecting poisonous, hazardous, toxic waste into our water supply.

It’s easy to point fingers at agriculture producers in the Central Valley for being the culprits of our water shortage with these statistics. They certainly play a role, but the severity of our unprecedented drought stems from a much broader problem: climate change. Warming temperatures, primarily due to carbon emissions, have led to less snowpack and more water evaporation in reservoirs, worsening our drought conditions and painting a stark picture for future droughts.

Any chance the SUN has something to do with this? We are sun spots suddenly conspiracy theory? Pollution is bad and clean energy is good.  I’m all for a transition to cleaner, renewable energy, so long as we’re not blaming human population growth and taxing the air we breathe, or blaming cows for methane, and forcing everyone to become a vegetarian.

So as we approach the summer months and face the worse water shortage in our state’s history, we should be asking ourselves as a nation if we have fully recognized that carbon emissions, not just water consumption, are harming the planet…and what actions are we taking to stall or reverse the warming trends?

Why aren’t California farmers being enticed to grow crops that require less water, such as industrial hemp? We can eat it, make textiles, plastics, medicine, etc, and best of all, it requires HALF the water of most agricultural crops.

I’ve been working hard to do my part in Congress, advocating for national policies that curtail our carbon emissions and encourage the use of energy efficient technologies and renewable energy resources across the board. And while these efforts are not exhaustive, they represent substantial steps in the right direction:

This summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to finalize rules to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants for the first time in history. Power plants account for one third of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and the EPA’s rules are estimated to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030. This is a key component of the President’s Climate Action Plan, and a measure I testified in support of before the EPA. California is already a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and Governor Jerry Brown has said the state is well-positioned to meet and exceed the requirements of EPA’s rules.

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2005 levels, with a higher population? How will we do that? Demand destruction, that’s how.  Obama is executing a set of policies that will destroy the American economy – the Trans Pacific Partnership is one of them.

I’ve vigorously opposed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline because I believe the risks to our environment outweigh the benefits to the American people. The tar sands oil that would travel through the pipeline generates more carbon emissions and is harder to clean up in the event of a spill than conventional crude oil. And although it will create approximately 40,000 short-term jobs, the builder of the pipeline admits that in the long-run Keystone XL will create only 35 permanent jobs. The House has voted to bypass the ongoing review process and provide a special exception for this project 10 times. I’ve voted against every attempt to do so.

This is exactly correct.  Plus the refined oil products (gasoline, diesel, etc) will be exported to China, so the US will simply become a conduit.

A comprehensive plan to address climate change should also include investment in alternative energy and energy efficiency technologies. One policy I’ve spearheaded this Congress aims to save taxpayer money and energy by increasing energy efficiency in federal data centers.

The climate change hoopla is Anglo American, Rockefeller, Rothschild, UN nonsense.  The IPCC has been exposed as a hoax.  This is a cover for UN Agenda 21 and a scheme to make money and control populations.  We should be moving to alternative energy sources to reduce pollution and decentralize energy generation.  The concepts of reducing pollution, conserving resources, and being efficient should be reason enough. We dont need a climate change fearmongering hoax to scare people into it.

The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act will save the federal government energy and money by requiring the use of energy efficient and energy saving technologies, specifically in federal data centers. Today the world generates more data in 12 hours than was generated in all of human history prior to 2003. When this bill passed the House by a nearly unanimous vote last year, that statistic was for every two days. Ten exabytes of data per day travel our global networks and this rate is growing rapidly. This data must be stored and processed at vast data centers which can be highly energy inefficient, wasting money and precious energy resources. As the nation’s largest landowner, employer, and energy user, my legislation would make the federal government a leader in improving the energy efficiency of its data centers.

As we celebrate Earth Day 2015 on April 22nd, the forward-thinking ideas of its founders—activists John McConnell and Denis Hayes, along with former Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) and Congressman Pete McCloskey (R-Calif.)—live on. The words of John McConnell remain especially prescient. “The world of tomorrow is not foreordained to be either good or bad…rather it will be what we make it,” he said. On this Earth Day, let’s renew our commitments of shared responsibility and collective action to make the changes that will indeed create a world of tomorrow that honors the earth by safeguarding it.

She should be fighting chemtrails, fluoride in the water, GMOs, tainted vaccines, pollution, promoting the use of industrial hemp, and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, not trying to tax the air we breathe.

Sincerely,

Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. OFFICE
241 Cannon Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-8104
Fax: (202) 225-8890
PALO ALTO, CA OFFICE
698 Emerson Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: (650) 323-2984
Phone: (408) 245-2339
Phone: (831) 335-2020
Fax: (650) 323-3498

Clean Energy Drives Bill Gates’ to Bankruptcy in Texas

Submitted by Charles Kennedy via OilPrice.com,
Bill Gates’ Texas energy company has filed for bankruptcy protection as the depressed power market results in untenable financial losses.
The company, Optim Energy (EnergyCo LLC), owned by a Gates investment fund, filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy papers on Wednesday for its three power plants in eastern Texas, citing their inability to counter growing losses in the current market.
“The current depressed economic environment of the electric power industry – particularly with respect to coal-fired plants – and the debtors’ liquidity constraints have resulted in continuing losses that, simply put, have left the debtors without alternatives,” media quoted Optim CEO Nick Rahn as saying in court documents.
According to the documents, Optim has $713 million outstanding under a credit agreement with Wells Fargo, while its total estimated assets are worth less than $500 million. For 2013, Optim recorded revenues of $236 million.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Optim said its executives had failed to obtain consent to borrow more money under a credit facility.
Optim is reportedly planning to sell its coal-fired Twin Oaks plant during the bankruptcy, while the other two plants natural-gas fired.
Optim was founded in 2007, and electricity prices began to fall shortly afterwards, hindering the company’s ability to repay borrowed money.
Reductions in natural gas prices have hit power companies hard over the past several years, and Optim is the third to file for bankruptcy recently, following Dynegy Inc and Edison Mission Energy.
Optim notes in its court filings that the price of electricity in the company’s market area has fallen roughly 40% in the past five years, from around $63.24 per megawatt hour in 2008 to around $38 per megawatt hour by December 2013.
Optim’s owner, ECJV Holdings LLC, is owned by Cascade Investment LLC, an investment vehicle for Gates, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder and the world’s richest person, according to Bloomberg.
Did solar and wind prices contribute to this as well?  Perhaps.  Read the article below

Wholesale Price of Electricity Drops to $0.00 in Texas, Due to Wind Energy | CleanTechnica http://po.st/WA18cgTexas claims cheapest solar installations, as prices drop nationwide http://bit.ly/1bw78gS

Does this mean Bill Gates’ status as the world’s richest man is in jeopardy?  Don’t think so.

Bill Gates’ nuclear company explores molten salt reactors, thorium – The Weinberg Foundation http://bit.ly/1dQvPig
Bill Gates Is Beginning to Dream the Thorium Dream | Motherboard http://bit.ly/1bw7J1T

Ford to Introduce First Solar Powered Car

Published: Friday 3 January 2014

Ford says the concept vehicle uses a day’s worth of sunlight to deliver the same performance as its conventional C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.Though the company deems it as merely a “concept,”
Ford Motor Co. will soon unveil a sun-powered vehicle.

The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with solar panels on the roof that allow the car to recharge itself. The vehicle’s total range is 620 miles, and it can travel 21 miles using only electric power from the sun.

“By tapping renewable solar energy with a rooftop solar panel system, C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is not dependent on the traditional electric grid for its battery power,” Ford wrote in a statement. “Internal Ford data suggest the sun could power up to 75 percent of all trips made by an average driver in a solar hybrid vehicle.”

The C-MAX uses a special concentrator that acts like a magnifying glass to direct rays to 300-to-350-watt solar cells on the roof from SunPower Corp. The compact lens was originally used for use in lighthouses. The system tracks the sun as it moves from east to west.
Ford says the concept vehicle uses a day’s worth of sunlight to deliver the same performance as its conventional C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. That amount generate the same power—8 kilowatts—that you would get from a four-hour battery charge.
The concept car would receive 108 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and 92 MPG on the highway, according to Ford and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company will introduce the concept at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which begins Jan. 7 in Las Vegas, NV.
“This could be especially important in places where the electric grid is underdeveloped, unreliable and expensive,” Ford wrote in a statement. “After C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is shown at CES, Ford and Georgia Tech will begin testing the vehicle in numerous real-world scenarios. The outcome of those tests will be used at a later date to help determine if the concept is feasible as a production car.”
The car also contains a port for charging with in the electric grid.
The Nissan LEAF‘s rear spoiler has a solar panel, but Ford says its C-MAX is the first of its kind.
“We are starting to see a convergence that can make these things possible,” Mike Tinskey, director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, told Bloomberg. “It’s a tracking concentrator without the costs of one.”

HEMP BIOMASS FOR ENERGY

HEMP BIOMASS FOR ENERGY
RV3
Tim Castleman
© Fuel and Fiber Company, 2001, 2006


Table of Contents

Table of Contents_____________________________________________________________ 2
Introduction_________________________________________________________________ 3
Ways biomass can be used for energy production____________________________________ 3
Burning:_________________________________________________________________________________ 3
Oils:____________________________________________________________________________________ 3
Conversion of cellulose to alcohol:____________________________________________________________ 4
About Hemp_________________________________________________________________ 5
Hemp seed oil for Bio Diesel____________________________________________________ 5
Production of oil__________________________________________________________________________ 5
Production of Bio-Diesel____________________________________________________________________ 5
Hemp Cellulose for Ethanol_____________________________________________________ 6
Forest Thinning and Slash, Mill Wastes________________________________________________________ 6
Agricultural Waste_________________________________________________________________________ 7
MSW (Municipal Solid Waste)______________________________________________________________ 7
Dedicated Energy Crops_____________________________________________________________________ 8
Barriers__________________________________________________________________________________ 8
Benefits_________________________________________________________________________________ 8
The Fuel and Fiber Company Method_____________________________________________ 9
Hemp Biomass Production Model Using the Fuel and Fiber Company Method_______________________ 10
Economic Impact____________________________________________________________ 11
Employment_____________________________________________________________________________ 11
Construction_____________________________________________________________________________ 11
Related agricultural activities________________________________________________________________ 11
Environmental Impact________________________________________________________ 11
Endnotes & References_______________________________________________________ 12


Hemp as Biomass for Energy

Introduction

Hemp advocates claim industrial hemp would be a good source of biomass to help address our energy needs. Since the oil crisis in the early seventies much work has been accomplished in the area of energy production using biomass. Biomass is any plant or tree matter in large quantity. These decades of research have lead to the discovery of several ways to convert biomass into energy and other useful products.
Questions of biomass suitability as compared to other “green” sources of energy are the subject of numerous studies and are not addressed here. Other questions concerning detailed economic and environmental impact, use of GMO’s, and agronomy are also outside the scope of this analysis.
This paper does attempt to explore the options available, and outlines some of the barriers and opportunities regarding them.

Ways biomass can be used for energy production

Burning:

·      Co-fired with coal to reduce emissions and offset a fraction of coal use
·      Burned to produce electricity
·      Pelletized to heat structures
·      Made or cut into logs for heating
Biomass to be burned is typically valued at $30-50 per ton, which makes whole stalk hemp as biomass to be burned impractical due to the high value of its bast fiber. One exception may be found in consideration of the latest gasification technologies used on local small scale and in remote rural applications.
·      Gasification (Pyrrolysis)
Gasification uses high heat to convert biomass into “SynGas” (synthetic gas) and low grade fuel oil which has an energy content of about 40% that of petroleum diesel. By products are mostly “Char” and ash. This technology is readily available commercially in several forms and could be a viable option according to local environmental and economic conditions. Beginning in 1999, Community Power Corporation[i] joined with the US National Renewable Laboratory (NREL) and Shell Renewables, Ltd. to design and develop a new generation of small modular biopower systems. The first prototype SMB system rated at 15 kWe was deployed in the village of Alaminos in the Philippines in early 2001. The fully automated system can use a variety of biomass fuels to generate electricity, shaft power and heat.

Oils:

·      Vegetable, seed and plant oil used “as-is” in diesel engines
·      Biodiesel – vegetable oil converted by chemical reaction
·      Converted into high-quality non-toxic lubricants
There are a number of plants high in oils, and many processes that produce vegetable oil as a waste product. These include soy, corn, coconut, palm, canola, rapeseed, and a number of other promising species. Any of these oils can be converted to biodiesel as described later, with a feedstock cost of $0 + per gallon.

Conversion of cellulose to alcohol:

·      Hydrolysis (Enzymatic & Acid)
Conversion of cellulose to fermentable glucose holds the greatest promise from both a production and feedstock supply standpoint. DOE (NREL) and a number of Universities and private enterprise have been developing this technology and achieved a number of milestones. Production estimates of 80 to 130 gallons per ton of biomass make this technology very attractive.
·      Anaerobic digester (Methane)
Anaerobic digestion is used to capture methane from any waste material. It is confirmed technology under commercialization utilizing landfill gases, wastewater treatment system gases, agricultural wastes from several other sources, particularly hog and cattle manure. It is well suited for distributed power generation when co-located with electrical generation equipment. For example, Corporation for Future Resources[ii] and Minusa Coffee Company, Ltd., located near Itaipé, Minas Gerais, Brazil, have teamed to construct an anaerobic fermentation digestion facility at Minusa’s coffee operation. The 600 cubic meter digester is designed to continuously produce methane rich gas, to be used for coffee drying and electric power production, as well as nitrogen-rich anaerobic organic fertilizer.

CFR/Minusa Anaerobic digester in Brazil.
The digester is constructed from native granite blocks quarried at the Minusa site.

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 4.0

This technology may be attractive in some cases when co-located with a hemp fiber processing facility or in remote locations to provide local power generation.


About Hemp

Industrial hemp can be grown in most climates and on marginal soils. It requires little or no herbicide and no pesticide, and uses less water than cotton. Measurements at Ridgetown College indicate the crop needs 300-400 mm (10-13 in.) of rainfall equivalent. Yields will vary according to local conditions and will range from 1.5 to 6 dry tons of biomass per acre[iii]. California’s rich croplands and growing environment are expected to increase yields by 20% over Canadian results, which will average at least 3.9 bone dry tons per acre.

Hemp seed oil for Bio Diesel

Production of oil

Grown for oilseed, Canadian grower’s yields average 1 tonne/hectare, or about 400 lbs. per acre. Cannabis seed contains about 28% oil (112 lbs.), or about 15 gallons per acre. Production costs using these figures would be about $35 per gallon. Some varieties are reported[iv] to yield as much as 38% oil, and a record 2,000 lbs. per acre was recorded in 1999. At this rate, 760 lbs.of oil per acre would result in about 100 gallons of oil, with production costs totaling about $5.20 gallon. This oil could be used as-is in modified diesel engines, or be converted to biodiesel using a relatively simple, automated process. Several systems are under development worldwide designed to produce biodiesel on a small scale, such as on farms using “homegrown” oil crops.

Production of Bio-Diesel

Basically methyl esters, or biodiesel, as it is commonly called, can be made from any oil or fat, including hemp seed oil. The reaction requires only oil, an alcohol (usually methanol) and a catalyst (usually sodium hydroxide [NaOH, or drain cleaner]). The reaction produces only biodiesel and a smaller amount of glycerol or glycerin.

The costs of materials needed for the reaction are the costs associated with production of hemp seed oil, the cost of methanol and the NaOH. In the instances where waste vegetable oil, or WVO, is used, the cost for oil is of course, free. Typically methanol costs about $2 per gallon and NaOH costs about $5 per 500g or about $0.01 per gram. For a typical 17 gallon batch of biodiesel, you’d start with 14 gallons of hemp seed oil; add to that 15% by volume of alcohol (or 2.1 gallons) and about 500g of NaOH. The process takes about 2 hours to complete and requires about 2000 watts of energy. That works out to about 2kw/hr or about $0.10 of energy (assuming $0.05 per kw/hr). So the total cost per gallon of biodiesel is $? (oil) + 2.1 x $2 (methanol) + $5 (NaOH) + $0.10 (energy) / 14 gallons = $0.66 per gallon, plus the cost of the oil.[v] Other costs may include sales, transportation, maintenance, depreciation, insurance and labor.


Hemp Cellulose for Ethanol

Another approach will involve conversion of cellulose to ethanol, which can be done in several ways including gasification, acid hydrolysis and a technology utilizing engineered enzymes to convert cellulose to glucose, which is then fermented to make alcohol. Still another approach using enzymes will convert cellulose directly to alcohol, which leads to substantial process cost savings.
Current costs associated with these conversion processes are about $1.37[vi] per gallon of fuel produced, plus the cost of the feedstock. Of this $1.37, enzyme costs are about $0.50 per gallon; current research efforts are directed toward reduction of this amount to $0.05 per gallon. There is a Federal tax credit of $0.54 per gallon and a number of other various incentives available. Conversion rates range from a low of 25-30 gallons per ton of biomass to 100 gallons per ton using the latest technology.
In 1998 the total California gasoline demand was 14 billion gallons. When ethanol is used to replace MTBE as an oxygenate, this will create California demand in excess of 700 million gallons per year. MTBE is to be phased out of use by 2003 according to State law.
In this case we can consider biomass production from a much broader perspective. Sources of feedstock under consideration for these processes are:

We will address these in turn and show why a dedicated energy crop holds important potential for ethanol production in California, why hemp is a good candidate as a dedicated energy crop, and how it may represent the fastest track to meeting 34% of California’s upcoming ethanol market demand of at least 580-750 million gallons per year.[vii]

Forest Thinning and Slash, Mill Wastes

A 1999 California Energy Commission biomass resource assessment estimated 13.8 million bone dry tons (5.5 Mill, 4.5 Slash & 3.8 thinnings) are available in California.
If practiced within State & Federal regulations, use of this source can have significant beneficial effects. Removal of excess biomass from forests reduces the frequency & intensity of fires, helping control the spread of diseases, and contributes to overall forest health. At 59 – 66 gallons per ton, this could supply as much as 900 million gallons per year.
One proposed California project, Collins Pine’s Chester Mill, which will contribute 20 MGY and be co-located with an existing biomass-powered 12 MW electric generator; yet, there is significant resistance to such uses by several prominent environmental groups, and for good reason – this could eventually lead to widespread destruction of forest habitat by overzealous energy companies willing to disregard the environment in the name of national energy security. Barriers also include harvest cost and capabilities as some slash & thinnings are extremely difficult to access, and the high lignin content of these materials.
If 25% of the available material were used, about 200 million gallons per year could be produced.

Agricultural Waste

In California over 500,000 acres of rice are grown each year. Each acre produces 1-2.5 tons of rice straw which have been until now burned. Alternative methods of disposal are needed, and conversion to ethanol has been under development for several years. There are currently two projects underway proposing to use rice straw: one in California (Gridley) and one in Jennings, LA. If the Gridley project is fully implemented, it will add 25 million gallons of production to California’s already-thin 9 million gallons per year. Barriers include collection costs and the high silica content (13%) of rice straw.
Other agricultural wastes include orchard trimmings, walnut and almond shells, and food processing wastes, for a total of about 700 MGY potential if ALL agricultural wastes were used. This is, of course, impractical, as some must be returned to the soil somehow, plus collection and transport costs will have an effect on viability of a particular waste product. Agricultural waste has the potential to satisfy a significant share of demand, with many factors to be considered when proposing a bio-refinery based on any feedstock, which are determined by full life-cycle analysis.
If 25% of the available material were used, about 175 million gallons per year could be produced.

MSW (Municipal Solid Waste)

Though about 60% of the waste stream is cellulosic material such as yard trimmings, urban waste and paper, this source is not considered a viable option for a number of reasons; these include existing industries that recycle materials and the landfill’s use of green waste as “Alternative Daily Cover” (ADC). Co-location of ethanol production is possible, but only up to about 10 MGY of production. When capital investment is considered, it is generally considered most economical to build larger capacity facilities.
The future of MSW being used for ethanol conversion does not look good. At best, 100 MGY of capacity may eventually come online, but it will be an uphill struggle to compete with higher value uses already in place.



Dedicated Energy Crops

There are 28 million acres of agricultural land in California, of which 10 million acres are established cropland. If 10% of this cropland (1 million acres) were dedicated to production of hemp as an energy and fiber crop, we could produce 150-500 million gallons of ethanol per year.
Greater estimates would result from expanding the analysis to include use of agricultural lands not currently applied to crop production as well as additional land not currently devoted to agriculture. A California Department of Food and Agriculture estimate suggests that each 1 million acres of crop production, occupying roughly 1% of the state’s total land area, would supply the ethanol equivalent of about 3% of California’s current gasoline demand.[viii]

Barriers

A barrier to the development of a cellulose-to-ethanol industry is availability, consistency and make-up, and location of feedstock. Dedicated crops, such as switchgrass[ix], resolve these problems. Cannabis hemp will enhance business opportunities because we can “tailor” the cannabis plant fractions to satisfy multiple end uses such as high value composites, fine paper, nitrogen rich fertilizer, CO2 , medicines, plastics, fabrics and polymers – just a portion of the many possible end uses.

Benefits

Benefits of a dedicated energy crop include consistency of feedstock supply, enhanced co-product opportunities, and increased carbon sequestration. It is commonly held that agricultural industries must focus on multiple value-added products from the various fractions of plants. This value-adding enhances rural development by providing jobs and facilities for value-adding operations. Hemp[x] lends itself to this in a unique way due to the high value of its bast fiber. Market prices for well-cleaned, composite-grade natural fiber are about 55¢ per pound ($1,100 ton); lower value uses, such as in some paper-making, bring $400-$700 per ton, while other value-adding options, such as pulping for fine papers[xi], could increase the value of the fiber to $2,500 per ton.

The Fuel and Fiber Company Method

The Fuel and Fiber Company Method[xii] employs a mechanical separation step to extract the high-value bast fiber[xiii] as a first step in processing. The remaining core material is to undergo conversion to alcohol and other co-products. There is no waste stream and the system will provide a net carbon reduction due to increased biomass production. Conversion efficiency of hemp core is relative to the lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose content and method used. The following table lists some materials often cited as potential sources of biomass and their chemical make-up. A challenge is conversion of hemicellulose to glucose; yet this challenge has been met recently by Genencor, Arkenol, Iogen, and others. These technologies provide conversion of hemicellulose and cellulose fractions to glucose using cellulase enzymes or acid.
Hemp
Cellulose
Hemicellulose
Lignin
Bast
64.8 %
7.7%
4.3 %
Core
34.5 %
17.8%
20.8 %
Soft Pine
44%
26%
27.8%
Spruce
42%
27%
28.6%
Wheat Straw
34%
27.6%
18%
Rice Straw
32.1%
24.0%
12.5%
Corn Stover
28%
28%
11%
Switchgrass
32.5%
26.4%
17.8%
Chemical composition of Industrial Hemp as compared to other plant matter
Lignin has long been viewed as a problem in the processing of fiber, and detailed studies have revealed numerous methods of removal and degradation; commonly it is burned for process heat and power generation. Advances in gasification and turbine technologies enable on-site power and heat generation, and should be seriously considered in any full-scale proposal. Additionally, by full chemical assay and careful market evaluation numerous co-product and value-adding opportunities exist. Such assay should include a NIRS (Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy) analysis, with as many varieties and conditions of material as can be gathered.
Reductions in lignin achieved by cultivation and harvest techniques, germplasm development and custom enzyme development will optimize processing output and efficiency. Incremental advances in system efficiencies related to these production improvements create a significant financial incentive for investors.
The Fuel and Fiber Company Renewable Resource System will process 300,000 to 600,000 tons of biomass per year, per facility; 25% to 35% of this will be high-value grades of core-free bast fiber. The remaining 65% to 75% of biomass will be used for the conversion process. Each facility will process input from 60,000 to 170,000 acres. Outputs are: Ethanol: 10-25 MGY (Million Gallons per Year), Fiber: 67,000 to 167,000 tons per year, and other co-products; fertilizer, animal feed, etc. to be determined. Hemp production will average 3.9 tons per acre with average costs of $520 per acre.

 

Hemp Biomass Production Model Using the Fuel and Fiber Company Method[xiv]

Min
Max
Average
Improve 20%
Totals
Sell 1
Sell 2
Total 1
Total 2
Tons per Acre
1.5
5
3.25
0.65
3.9
Lbs. Bast
(Separated 90-94%)
750
2500
1625
325
1950
0.35
0.55
$682.50
$1,072.50
Lbs. Hurd
2250
7500
4875
975
5850
Gallons Per Ton
20
80
50
$2.00
$3.00
Gallons Per Acre
146
292.5
438.8
Ethanol costs
Per Gallon
0.92
1.37
1.145
167.46
167.46
Ethanol profit
$125.04
$271.29
Gross
$807.54
$1,343.79
Production Costs
Per Acre
424
617
520.5
$520.50
$520.50
Separation costs
Per Ton
41.54
75.68
58.61
$228.58
$228.58
Costs
$749.08
$749.08
Profit
$58.46
$594.71
Administrative & License %
2
$16.15
$26.88
NET
$42.31
$567.84
Capacity
Acres
Tons Fiber
10 MGY Facility
68,376
66,667
Annual
$2,893,256
$38,826,590
25 MGY Facility
170,940
166,667
Profits
$7,233,141
$97,066,474
Total Admin & License
$1,104,333
$4,594,167
Capital costs not included. Estimated capital costs are $135 to $150 million per facility, plus crop payments. To add a pulping operation will require an additional $100 million and adds $117 per ton of fiber processed for pulp, which has a market value of up to $2,500 per ton. The most conservative estimates possible were used for this study. A full-scale feasibility study is needed to validate assumptions and projections. An additional $35 per ton environmental impact benefit should also be factored into future projections[xv].


Economic Impact

Employment

Employment for hemp production, calculated at one worker per 40 acres farmed[xvi], results in a total of 1,700 to 4,275 new jobs, if 10% of California’s cropland is put into production of cannabis hemp. These jobs are created across all traditional agricultural employment sectors, upon full development of the system.
The processing plants will also create new jobs in these areas[xvii]:
·      Administrative & Sales – 15 to 25 per facility
·      Research & Development – 25 to 50 statewide
·      Engineering & Technical – 75 to 100 statewide
·      Construction & Maintenance – 150 to 300 statewide
·      Transportation & Material Handling – 10 to 20 per facility
·      General Labor – 25 to 50 per facility

Construction

Each facility will incur $100-300 million in construction costs. Much of the equipment and labor will be procured locally, creating new jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs to provide equipment and services to this new industry.

Related agricultural activities

At an average cost of $520 per acre, returns to farmers will range from $50-$500 profit per acre. Used in rotation with other crops, hemp can help reduce herbicide use resulting in savings to the farmer on production of crops other than hemp.

Environmental Impact

There are a great number of environmental impacts to be considered, including;
·      Water use. Agricultural operations & processing will consume hundreds of millions of gallons.
·      Large mono-crop systems have been problematic. Though hemp lends itself well to mono-cropping, effective & feasible rotation schemes must be devised.
·      Genetically Modified Organisms – Are key to efficient conversions but may pose a great threat to life. This is an issue that must be handled with complete transparency & integrity.
·      Waste streams generated – Though expected to be low, a detailed accounting must be made and addressed.
·      Creation of “Carbon Sink” to absorb carbon
·      Improved land and water management
·      In-State fuel production – reducing transport costs and associated effects
·      Reduction in emissions (Continued use of RFG)
·      $35 per acre total environmental benefit



[i] Community Power Corporation, 8420 S. Continental Divide Road, Littleton, CO 80127
[ii] Corporation For Future Resources, !909 Chowkeebin Court, Tallahassee, Florida 32301
[iii] Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs FactSheet “Growing Industrial Hemp in Ontario” 08/00
[iv] A Brief Analysis of the Characteristics of Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Seed Grown in Northern Ontario in 1998. May 19, 1999 Herb A. Hinz, Undergraduate Thesis, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario
[v] IAN S. WATSON, AIA BioDiesel Expert
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
[vi] CIFAR Conference XIV, “Cracking the Nut: Bioprocessing Lignocellulose to Renewable Products and Energy”, June 4, 2001
[vii] California Energy Commission report “COSTS AND BENEFITS OF A BIOMASS-TO-ETHANOL PRODUCTION INDUSTRY IN CALIFORNIA”, March, 2001
[viii] California Energy Commission report “EVALUATION OF BIOMASS-TO-ETHANOL FUEL POTENTIAL IN CALIFORNIA”, December, 1999 pg iv 4-5
[ix] Switchgrass is the leading candidate under consideration by DOE. Numerous studies are available upon request.
[x] Cannabis Sativa, commonly know as “hemp” is included in a list of potential field crops considered as Candidate Energy Crops in the December 1999 California Energy Commission report “EVALUATION OF BIOMASS-TO-ETHANOL FUEL POTENTIAL IN CALIFORNIA” pg. iv-3
[xi] Hemp Pulp and Paper Production Gertjan van Roekel jr.
ATO-DLO Agrotechnology, P.O.box 17, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Van Roekel, G J, 1994. Hemp pulp and paper production. Journal of the International Hemp Association 1: 12-14.
[xii] Fuel and Fiber Company was formed to promote a renewable resource system using fibrous crops such as hemp and kenaf to produce high-value natural fiber, ethanol and other co-products. www.FuelandFiber.com
[xiii] All of the hemp fibre produced and sold by Hempline (www.hempline.com) is made from hemp grown without pesticides and processed without chemicals. The fibre is a uniform natural golden colour typical of field retted stalks. The fibre has a moisture regain of 12% and excellent fibre tenacity. The fibre is pressed into high compression bales to minimize transportation costs.
The fibre is available in 40ft. and 20 ft. containers, truckloads or by the bale and shipped internationally. Samples of the fibre are available for trials upon request. The pricing varies based on the fibre grade, and is comparable or more cost effective than many natural and synthetic fibres.
Hempline primary hemp fibre comes in the following grades:
Ultra clean Grade Fibre
·       99.9% clean of core fibre Value: .55 + lb.
·       Dust extracted
·       Available in staples lengths between 1/2″ to 6″ and sliver.
·       Well opened with a typical staple denier of between 15 to 65
·       Applications include: nonwovens, composites, textiles, any where that a very clean well opened fibre with uniform staple length is needed.
Composite Grade Fibre
·       96 – 99% clean of core fibre Value: .35 – .55 lb.
·       Dust extracted
·       Available in staples lengths between 1″ to 6″.
·       Fairly well opened with a typical staple denier of between 50 to 125
·       Applications include: a range of composites such as automotive, furniture and construction; nonwovens; insulation.
General Purpose Grade Fibre Value: .20 lb.
·       50 – 75% clean of core fibre
·       Staple lengths vary between 1″ to 6″. Can be modified according to your requirements
·       Applications include: fibre for hydro mulch; cement and plaster filler; insulation; geo-matting.
Core fibre
For animal bedding and garden mulch, under the HempChips(tm) brand, is available in 3.2 cu. ft. (90 L) compressed bags through retail outlets and direct-to-stable in truckload quantities.
[xiv] Based on 20% improvement over Canadian production per Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Factsheet “Growing Industrial Hemp in Ontario”, 08/00
[xv] DOE calculation – See Chariton Valley project reports.
[xvi] California Agricultural Employment Report
[xvii] Estimate only. Actual numbers need to be discovered and confirmed.

HEMP BIOMASS FOR ENERGY with New Farm Bill

HEMP BIOMASS FOR ENERGY
RV3
Tim Castleman
© Fuel and Fiber Company, 2001, 2006


Table of Contents

Table of Contents_____________________________________________________________ 2
Introduction_________________________________________________________________ 3
Ways biomass can be used for energy production____________________________________ 3
Burning:_________________________________________________________________________________ 3
Oils:____________________________________________________________________________________ 3
Conversion of cellulose to alcohol:____________________________________________________________ 4
About Hemp_________________________________________________________________ 5
Hemp seed oil for Bio Diesel____________________________________________________ 5
Production of oil__________________________________________________________________________ 5
Production of Bio-Diesel____________________________________________________________________ 5
Hemp Cellulose for Ethanol_____________________________________________________ 6
Forest Thinning and Slash, Mill Wastes________________________________________________________ 6
Agricultural Waste_________________________________________________________________________ 7
MSW (Municipal Solid Waste)______________________________________________________________ 7
Dedicated Energy Crops_____________________________________________________________________ 8
Barriers__________________________________________________________________________________ 8
Benefits_________________________________________________________________________________ 8
The Fuel and Fiber Company Method_____________________________________________ 9
Hemp Biomass Production Model Using the Fuel and Fiber Company Method_______________________ 10
Economic Impact____________________________________________________________ 11
Employment_____________________________________________________________________________ 11
Construction_____________________________________________________________________________ 11
Related agricultural activities________________________________________________________________ 11
Environmental Impact________________________________________________________ 11
Endnotes & References_______________________________________________________ 12


Hemp as Biomass for Energy

Introduction

Hemp advocates claim industrial hemp would be a good source of biomass to help address our energy needs. Since the oil crisis in the early seventies much work has been accomplished in the area of energy production using biomass. Biomass is any plant or tree matter in large quantity. These decades of research have lead to the discovery of several ways to convert biomass into energy and other useful products.
Questions of biomass suitability as compared to other “green” sources of energy are the subject of numerous studies and are not addressed here. Other questions concerning detailed economic and environmental impact, use of GMO’s, and agronomy are also outside the scope of this analysis.
This paper does attempt to explore the options available, and outlines some of the barriers and opportunities regarding them.

Ways biomass can be used for energy production

Burning:

·      Co-fired with coal to reduce emissions and offset a fraction of coal use
·      Burned to produce electricity
·      Pelletized to heat structures
·      Made or cut into logs for heating
Biomass to be burned is typically valued at $30-50 per ton, which makes whole stalk hemp as biomass to be burned impractical due to the high value of its bast fiber. One exception may be found in consideration of the latest gasification technologies used on local small scale and in remote rural applications.
·      Gasification (Pyrrolysis)
Gasification uses high heat to convert biomass into “SynGas” (synthetic gas) and low grade fuel oil which has an energy content of about 40% that of petroleum diesel. By products are mostly “Char” and ash. This technology is readily available commercially in several forms and could be a viable option according to local environmental and economic conditions. Beginning in 1999, Community Power Corporation[i] joined with the US National Renewable Laboratory (NREL) and Shell Renewables, Ltd. to design and develop a new generation of small modular biopower systems. The first prototype SMB system rated at 15 kWe was deployed in the village of Alaminos in the Philippines in early 2001. The fully automated system can use a variety of biomass fuels to generate electricity, shaft power and heat.

Oils:

·      Vegetable, seed and plant oil used “as-is” in diesel engines
·      Biodiesel – vegetable oil converted by chemical reaction
·      Converted into high-quality non-toxic lubricants
There are a number of plants high in oils, and many processes that produce vegetable oil as a waste product. These include soy, corn, coconut, palm, canola, rapeseed, and a number of other promising species. Any of these oils can be converted to biodiesel as described later, with a feedstock cost of $0 + per gallon.

Conversion of cellulose to alcohol:

·      Hydrolysis (Enzymatic & Acid)
Conversion of cellulose to fermentable glucose holds the greatest promise from both a production and feedstock supply standpoint. DOE (NREL) and a number of Universities and private enterprise have been developing this technology and achieved a number of milestones. Production estimates of 80 to 130 gallons per ton of biomass make this technology very attractive.
·      Anaerobic digester (Methane)
Anaerobic digestion is used to capture methane from any waste material. It is confirmed technology under commercialization utilizing landfill gases, wastewater treatment system gases, agricultural wastes from several other sources, particularly hog and cattle manure. It is well suited for distributed power generation when co-located with electrical generation equipment. For example, Corporation for Future Resources[ii] and Minusa Coffee Company, Ltd., located near Itaipé, Minas Gerais, Brazil, have teamed to construct an anaerobic fermentation digestion facility at Minusa’s coffee operation. The 600 cubic meter digester is designed to continuously produce methane rich gas, to be used for coffee drying and electric power production, as well as nitrogen-rich anaerobic organic fertilizer.

CFR/Minusa Anaerobic digester in Brazil.
The digester is constructed from native granite blocks quarried at the Minusa site.

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 4.0

This technology may be attractive in some cases when co-located with a hemp fiber processing facility or in remote locations to provide local power generation.


About Hemp

Industrial hemp can be grown in most climates and on marginal soils. It requires little or no herbicide and no pesticide, and uses less water than cotton. Measurements at Ridgetown College indicate the crop needs 300-400 mm (10-13 in.) of rainfall equivalent. Yields will vary according to local conditions and will range from 1.5 to 6 dry tons of biomass per acre[iii]. California’s rich croplands and growing environment are expected to increase yields by 20% over Canadian results, which will average at least 3.9 bone dry tons per acre.

Hemp seed oil for Bio Diesel

Production of oil

Grown for oilseed, Canadian grower’s yields average 1 tonne/hectare, or about 400 lbs. per acre. Cannabis seed contains about 28% oil (112 lbs.), or about 15 gallons per acre. Production costs using these figures would be about $35 per gallon. Some varieties are reported[iv] to yield as much as 38% oil, and a record 2,000 lbs. per acre was recorded in 1999. At this rate, 760 lbs.of oil per acre would result in about 100 gallons of oil, with production costs totaling about $5.20 gallon. This oil could be used as-is in modified diesel engines, or be converted to biodiesel using a relatively simple, automated process. Several systems are under development worldwide designed to produce biodiesel on a small scale, such as on farms using “homegrown” oil crops.

Production of Bio-Diesel

Basically methyl esters, or biodiesel, as it is commonly called, can be made from any oil or fat, including hemp seed oil. The reaction requires only oil, an alcohol (usually methanol) and a catalyst (usually sodium hydroxide [NaOH, or drain cleaner]). The reaction produces only biodiesel and a smaller amount of glycerol or glycerin.

The costs of materials needed for the reaction are the costs associated with production of hemp seed oil, the cost of methanol and the NaOH. In the instances where waste vegetable oil, or WVO, is used, the cost for oil is of course, free. Typically methanol costs about $2 per gallon and NaOH costs about $5 per 500g or about $0.01 per gram. For a typical 17 gallon batch of biodiesel, you’d start with 14 gallons of hemp seed oil; add to that 15% by volume of alcohol (or 2.1 gallons) and about 500g of NaOH. The process takes about 2 hours to complete and requires about 2000 watts of energy. That works out to about 2kw/hr or about $0.10 of energy (assuming $0.05 per kw/hr). So the total cost per gallon of biodiesel is $? (oil) + 2.1 x $2 (methanol) + $5 (NaOH) + $0.10 (energy) / 14 gallons = $0.66 per gallon, plus the cost of the oil.[v] Other costs may include sales, transportation, maintenance, depreciation, insurance and labor.


Hemp Cellulose for Ethanol

Another approach will involve conversion of cellulose to ethanol, which can be done in several ways including gasification, acid hydrolysis and a technology utilizing engineered enzymes to convert cellulose to glucose, which is then fermented to make alcohol. Still another approach using enzymes will convert cellulose directly to alcohol, which leads to substantial process cost savings.
Current costs associated with these conversion processes are about $1.37[vi] per gallon of fuel produced, plus the cost of the feedstock. Of this $1.37, enzyme costs are about $0.50 per gallon; current research efforts are directed toward reduction of this amount to $0.05 per gallon. There is a Federal tax credit of $0.54 per gallon and a number of other various incentives available. Conversion rates range from a low of 25-30 gallons per ton of biomass to 100 gallons per ton using the latest technology.
In 1998 the total California gasoline demand was 14 billion gallons. When ethanol is used to replace MTBE as an oxygenate, this will create California demand in excess of 700 million gallons per year. MTBE is to be phased out of use by 2003 according to State law.
In this case we can consider biomass production from a much broader perspective. Sources of feedstock under consideration for these processes are:

We will address these in turn and show why a dedicated energy crop holds important potential for ethanol production in California, why hemp is a good candidate as a dedicated energy crop, and how it may represent the fastest track to meeting 34% of California’s upcoming ethanol market demand of at least 580-750 million gallons per year.[vii]

Forest Thinning and Slash, Mill Wastes

A 1999 California Energy Commission biomass resource assessment estimated 13.8 million bone dry tons (5.5 Mill, 4.5 Slash & 3.8 thinnings) are available in California.
If practiced within State & Federal regulations, use of this source can have significant beneficial effects. Removal of excess biomass from forests reduces the frequency & intensity of fires, helping control the spread of diseases, and contributes to overall forest health. At 59 – 66 gallons per ton, this could supply as much as 900 million gallons per year.
One proposed California project, Collins Pine’s Chester Mill, which will contribute 20 MGY and be co-located with an existing biomass-powered 12 MW electric generator; yet, there is significant resistance to such uses by several prominent environmental groups, and for good reason – this could eventually lead to widespread destruction of forest habitat by overzealous energy companies willing to disregard the environment in the name of national energy security. Barriers also include harvest cost and capabilities as some slash & thinnings are extremely difficult to access, and the high lignin content of these materials.
If 25% of the available material were used, about 200 million gallons per year could be produced.

Agricultural Waste

In California over 500,000 acres of rice are grown each year. Each acre produces 1-2.5 tons of rice straw which have been until now burned. Alternative methods of disposal are needed, and conversion to ethanol has been under development for several years. There are currently two projects underway proposing to use rice straw: one in California (Gridley) and one in Jennings, LA. If the Gridley project is fully implemented, it will add 25 million gallons of production to California’s already-thin 9 million gallons per year. Barriers include collection costs and the high silica content (13%) of rice straw.
Other agricultural wastes include orchard trimmings, walnut and almond shells, and food processing wastes, for a total of about 700 MGY potential if ALL agricultural wastes were used. This is, of course, impractical, as some must be returned to the soil somehow, plus collection and transport costs will have an effect on viability of a particular waste product. Agricultural waste has the potential to satisfy a significant share of demand, with many factors to be considered when proposing a bio-refinery based on any feedstock, which are determined by full life-cycle analysis.
If 25% of the available material were used, about 175 million gallons per year could be produced.

MSW (Municipal Solid Waste)

Though about 60% of the waste stream is cellulosic material such as yard trimmings, urban waste and paper, this source is not considered a viable option for a number of reasons; these include existing industries that recycle materials and the landfill’s use of green waste as “Alternative Daily Cover” (ADC). Co-location of ethanol production is possible, but only up to about 10 MGY of production. When capital investment is considered, it is generally considered most economical to build larger capacity facilities.
The future of MSW being used for ethanol conversion does not look good. At best, 100 MGY of capacity may eventually come online, but it will be an uphill struggle to compete with higher value uses already in place.



Dedicated Energy Crops

There are 28 million acres of agricultural land in California, of which 10 million acres are established cropland. If 10% of this cropland (1 million acres) were dedicated to production of hemp as an energy and fiber crop, we could produce 150-500 million gallons of ethanol per year.
Greater estimates would result from expanding the analysis to include use of agricultural lands not currently applied to crop production as well as additional land not currently devoted to agriculture. A California Department of Food and Agriculture estimate suggests that each 1 million acres of crop production, occupying roughly 1% of the state’s total land area, would supply the ethanol equivalent of about 3% of California’s current gasoline demand.[viii]

Barriers

A barrier to the development of a cellulose-to-ethanol industry is availability, consistency and make-up, and location of feedstock. Dedicated crops, such as switchgrass[ix], resolve these problems. Cannabis hemp will enhance business opportunities because we can “tailor” the cannabis plant fractions to satisfy multiple end uses such as high value composites, fine paper, nitrogen rich fertilizer, CO2 , medicines, plastics, fabrics and polymers – just a portion of the many possible end uses.

Benefits

Benefits of a dedicated energy crop include consistency of feedstock supply, enhanced co-product opportunities, and increased carbon sequestration. It is commonly held that agricultural industries must focus on multiple value-added products from the various fractions of plants. This value-adding enhances rural development by providing jobs and facilities for value-adding operations. Hemp[x] lends itself to this in a unique way due to the high value of its bast fiber. Market prices for well-cleaned, composite-grade natural fiber are about 55¢ per pound ($1,100 ton); lower value uses, such as in some paper-making, bring $400-$700 per ton, while other value-adding options, such as pulping for fine papers[xi], could increase the value of the fiber to $2,500 per ton.

The Fuel and Fiber Company Method

The Fuel and Fiber Company Method[xii] employs a mechanical separation step to extract the high-value bast fiber[xiii] as a first step in processing. The remaining core material is to undergo conversion to alcohol and other co-products. There is no waste stream and the system will provide a net carbon reduction due to increased biomass production. Conversion efficiency of hemp core is relative to the lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose content and method used. The following table lists some materials often cited as potential sources of biomass and their chemical make-up. A challenge is conversion of hemicellulose to glucose; yet this challenge has been met recently by Genencor, Arkenol, Iogen, and others. These technologies provide conversion of hemicellulose and cellulose fractions to glucose using cellulase enzymes or acid.
Hemp
Cellulose
Hemicellulose
Lignin
Bast
64.8 %
7.7%
4.3 %
Core
34.5 %
17.8%
20.8 %
Soft Pine
44%
26%
27.8%
Spruce
42%
27%
28.6%
Wheat Straw
34%
27.6%
18%
Rice Straw
32.1%
24.0%
12.5%
Corn Stover
28%
28%
11%
Switchgrass
32.5%
26.4%
17.8%
Chemical composition of Industrial Hemp as compared to other plant matter
Lignin has long been viewed as a problem in the processing of fiber, and detailed studies have revealed numerous methods of removal and degradation; commonly it is burned for process heat and power generation. Advances in gasification and turbine technologies enable on-site power and heat generation, and should be seriously considered in any full-scale proposal. Additionally, by full chemical assay and careful market evaluation numerous co-product and value-adding opportunities exist. Such assay should include a NIRS (Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy) analysis, with as many varieties and conditions of material as can be gathered.
Reductions in lignin achieved by cultivation and harvest techniques, germplasm development and custom enzyme development will optimize processing output and efficiency. Incremental advances in system efficiencies related to these production improvements create a significant financial incentive for investors.
The Fuel and Fiber Company Renewable Resource System will process 300,000 to 600,000 tons of biomass per year, per facility; 25% to 35% of this will be high-value grades of core-free bast fiber. The remaining 65% to 75% of biomass will be used for the conversion process. Each facility will process input from 60,000 to 170,000 acres. Outputs are: Ethanol: 10-25 MGY (Million Gallons per Year), Fiber: 67,000 to 167,000 tons per year, and other co-products; fertilizer, animal feed, etc. to be determined. Hemp production will average 3.9 tons per acre with average costs of $520 per acre.

 

Hemp Biomass Production Model Using the Fuel and Fiber Company Method[xiv]

Min
Max
Average
Improve 20%
Totals
Sell 1
Sell 2
Total 1
Total 2
Tons per Acre
1.5
5
3.25
0.65
3.9
Lbs. Bast
(Separated 90-94%)
750
2500
1625
325
1950
0.35
0.55
$682.50
$1,072.50
Lbs. Hurd
2250
7500
4875
975
5850
Gallons Per Ton
20
80
50
$2.00
$3.00
Gallons Per Acre
146
292.5
438.8
Ethanol costs
Per Gallon
0.92
1.37
1.145
167.46
167.46
Ethanol profit
$125.04
$271.29
Gross
$807.54
$1,343.79
Production Costs
Per Acre
424
617
520.5
$520.50
$520.50
Separation costs
Per Ton
41.54
75.68
58.61
$228.58
$228.58
Costs
$749.08
$749.08
Profit
$58.46
$594.71
Administrative & License %
2
$16.15
$26.88
NET
$42.31
$567.84
Capacity
Acres
Tons Fiber
10 MGY Facility
68,376
66,667
Annual
$2,893,256
$38,826,590
25 MGY Facility
170,940
166,667
Profits
$7,233,141
$97,066,474
Total Admin & License
$1,104,333
$4,594,167
Capital costs not included. Estimated capital costs are $135 to $150 million per facility, plus crop payments. To add a pulping operation will require an additional $100 million and adds $117 per ton of fiber processed for pulp, which has a market value of up to $2,500 per ton. The most conservative estimates possible were used for this study. A full-scale feasibility study is needed to validate assumptions and projections. An additional $35 per ton environmental impact benefit should also be factored into future projections[xv].


Economic Impact

Employment

Employment for hemp production, calculated at one worker per 40 acres farmed[xvi], results in a total of 1,700 to 4,275 new jobs, if 10% of California’s cropland is put into production of cannabis hemp. These jobs are created across all traditional agricultural employment sectors, upon full development of the system.
The processing plants will also create new jobs in these areas[xvii]:
·      Administrative & Sales – 15 to 25 per facility
·      Research & Development – 25 to 50 statewide
·      Engineering & Technical – 75 to 100 statewide
·      Construction & Maintenance – 150 to 300 statewide
·      Transportation & Material Handling – 10 to 20 per facility
·      General Labor – 25 to 50 per facility

Construction

Each facility will incur $100-300 million in construction costs. Much of the equipment and labor will be procured locally, creating new jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs to provide equipment and services to this new industry.

Related agricultural activities

At an average cost of $520 per acre, returns to farmers will range from $50-$500 profit per acre. Used in rotation with other crops, hemp can help reduce herbicide use resulting in savings to the farmer on production of crops other than hemp.

Environmental Impact

There are a great number of environmental impacts to be considered, including;
·      Water use. Agricultural operations & processing will consume hundreds of millions of gallons.
·      Large mono-crop systems have been problematic. Though hemp lends itself well to mono-cropping, effective & feasible rotation schemes must be devised.
·      Genetically Modified Organisms – Are key to efficient conversions but may pose a great threat to life. This is an issue that must be handled with complete transparency & integrity.
·      Waste streams generated – Though expected to be low, a detailed accounting must be made and addressed.
·      Creation of “Carbon Sink” to absorb carbon
·      Improved land and water management
·      In-State fuel production – reducing transport costs and associated effects
·      Reduction in emissions (Continued use of RFG)
·      $35 per acre total environmental benefit



[i] Community Power Corporation, 8420 S. Continental Divide Road, Littleton, CO 80127
[ii] Corporation For Future Resources, !909 Chowkeebin Court, Tallahassee, Florida 32301
[iii] Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs FactSheet “Growing Industrial Hemp in Ontario” 08/00
[iv] A Brief Analysis of the Characteristics of Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Seed Grown in Northern Ontario in 1998. May 19, 1999 Herb A. Hinz, Undergraduate Thesis, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario
[v] IAN S. WATSON, AIA BioDiesel Expert
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
[vi] CIFAR Conference XIV, “Cracking the Nut: Bioprocessing Lignocellulose to Renewable Products and Energy”, June 4, 2001
[vii] California Energy Commission report “COSTS AND BENEFITS OF A BIOMASS-TO-ETHANOL PRODUCTION INDUSTRY IN CALIFORNIA”, March, 2001
[viii] California Energy Commission report “EVALUATION OF BIOMASS-TO-ETHANOL FUEL POTENTIAL IN CALIFORNIA”, December, 1999 pg iv 4-5
[ix] Switchgrass is the leading candidate under consideration by DOE. Numerous studies are available upon request.
[x] Cannabis Sativa, commonly know as “hemp” is included in a list of potential field crops considered as Candidate Energy Crops in the December 1999 California Energy Commission report “EVALUATION OF BIOMASS-TO-ETHANOL FUEL POTENTIAL IN CALIFORNIA” pg. iv-3
[xi] Hemp Pulp and Paper Production Gertjan van Roekel jr.
ATO-DLO Agrotechnology, P.O.box 17, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Van Roekel, G J, 1994. Hemp pulp and paper production. Journal of the International Hemp Association 1: 12-14.
[xii] Fuel and Fiber Company was formed to promote a renewable resource system using fibrous crops such as hemp and kenaf to produce high-value natural fiber, ethanol and other co-products. www.FuelandFiber.com
[xiii] All of the hemp fibre produced and sold by Hempline (www.hempline.com) is made from hemp grown without pesticides and processed without chemicals. The fibre is a uniform natural golden colour typical of field retted stalks. The fibre has a moisture regain of 12% and excellent fibre tenacity. The fibre is pressed into high compression bales to minimize transportation costs.
The fibre is available in 40ft. and 20 ft. containers, truckloads or by the bale and shipped internationally. Samples of the fibre are available for trials upon request. The pricing varies based on the fibre grade, and is comparable or more cost effective than many natural and synthetic fibres.
Hempline primary hemp fibre comes in the following grades:
Ultra clean Grade Fibre
·       99.9% clean of core fibre Value: .55 + lb.
·       Dust extracted
·       Available in staples lengths between 1/2″ to 6″ and sliver.
·       Well opened with a typical staple denier of between 15 to 65
·       Applications include: nonwovens, composites, textiles, any where that a very clean well opened fibre with uniform staple length is needed.
Composite Grade Fibre
·       96 – 99% clean of core fibre Value: .35 – .55 lb.
·       Dust extracted
·       Available in staples lengths between 1″ to 6″.
·       Fairly well opened with a typical staple denier of between 50 to 125
·       Applications include: a range of composites such as automotive, furniture and construction; nonwovens; insulation.
General Purpose Grade Fibre Value: .20 lb.
·       50 – 75% clean of core fibre
·       Staple lengths vary between 1″ to 6″. Can be modified according to your requirements
·       Applications include: fibre for hydro mulch; cement and plaster filler; insulation; geo-matting.
Core fibre
For animal bedding and garden mulch, under the HempChips(tm) brand, is available in 3.2 cu. ft. (90 L) compressed bags through retail outlets and direct-to-stable in truckload quantities.
[xiv] Based on 20% improvement over Canadian production per Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Factsheet “Growing Industrial Hemp in Ontario”, 08/00
[xv] DOE calculation – See Chariton Valley project reports.
[xvi] California Agricultural Employment Report
[xvii] Estimate only. Actual numbers need to be discovered and confirmed.

Is honest fracking debate possible? #2012 #peakoil #kochsuckers Halliburton Loophole,

Clipped from news.yahoo.com

Fracking: Natural Gas Energy Boon or Public Poison?

COMMENTARY | Fracturing shale rock to release the natural gas inside, called “fracking,” is either a great method for extracting new energy from existing resources or an ecological disaster that endangers our drinking water. Or both.

The problem is that there are no clear studies indicating actual harm caused by the process. BusinessWeek points to a New York Times discovery that EPA documents reveal radioactive wastewater being discharged into river basins. Yet the government specifically exempted fracking from the Safe Water Drinking Act as part of the 2005 Energy bill. The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission assured residents that the methane present in their tap water came from naturally occurring processes rather than as a byproduct of fracking, though it’s unclear how that was expected to reassure them about flaming tap water.

The only things we know for sure are that fracking uses toxic chemicals, the government is not studying—or at least not releasing information about—the potential dangers, and people are drinking flammable water.

Read more at news.yahoo.com