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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hemp-Diesel Gets Cold Weather Praise

By Ron Crumpton

A new study from the University of Connecticut has found that bio-diesel made from hemp has superior cold flow properties when compared to other bio-fuels.

“Incorporating hemp bio-diesel may make the resulting fuel blend more amenable to cold weather usage,” said Professor Richard Parnas of the University of Connecticut.

The problem with most bio-diesel fuels is that they do not work well in cold weather. Most Biodiesels reach their cloud point – the temperature at which the wax in the bio-diesel solidifies, which causes the fuel to thicken and clog the fuel filter and a variety of engine parts – at about zero degrees centigrade ( 32*F).

“What we found when we evaluated the cloud point of our biodiesel made from hemp using the standard measurement technique, we couldn’t find a cloud point down to minus 20 degrees centigrade,” stated Professor Parnas.

If my calculations are correct, 20 degrees centigrade is equal to 68 degrees of Fahrenheit. This means that a car running on hemp-diesel could operate at temperatures as low as - 36 degrees.

     Unfortunately, because it is illegal to produce industrial hemp in the United States, their discovery will, most likely, only benefit those living outside of the United States.

     If the production of industrial hemp were legal in the U.S., it would be able to take advantage of the jobs this will create, the government revenues it would create and actually be able to use the fuel it will create.

     However, thanks to the federal governments unwillingness to create new marijuana policy in this country, American discovery will not benefits Americans.

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