With the constant advancement of technology there is an equally constant demand for energy within an ever changing world. Currently there are 1.2 billion vehicles on the road, with that figure looking to jump to 2 billion by 2035. As the need to reduce carbon emissions rises every day, industries and consumers alike must look to cleaner sources of energy as the standard. Manufacturers must become more reliant on multifaceted green energy materials useful in the reduction of carbon emissions such as hemp. With over 50,000 uses, industrial hemp is incredibly versatile and able to carry out the needs of countless sectors. Hemp is fundamentally composed of lignin and cellulose, two primary constituents for advanced carbons or aerogels. These materials are essential for dealing with the emerging populations in rural areas.
Much of the developing world lacks the energy required for proper cooling of food for safekeeping. In India, roughly 70% of people do not have a refrigerator, with 43% of rural housing and 13% of urban housing not receiving enough energy to power a refrigerator. Other green sources of energy may not be enough to combat this lack of power as solar and wind farms are not constantly engaged, and geothermal power is not located everywhere. Hydroelectric energy has its own issues with sustainability, therefore it cannot be the best option for a sustainable power source. Batteries may be the best option when dealing with the lack of power in rural areas, but batteries themselves can be toxic. Even with recycling used batteries, there are significant transportation related fuel costs. But if the energy industry were to pivot towards using hemp based batteries, many of these issues can be combated.
In Clayton Turner’s talk at Hemp Build 2021, Turner discussed the need and legitimacy of using hemp as a source of clean energy. Through the use of steam pyrolysis, Turner has been able to separate the lignin and cellulose and create powerful hemp based batteries that can greatly offset the global carbon emissions. Turner created a two gram hemp powered battery that was able to generate a .05 milliamp charge. While this may seem measly, when compared to a 30 gram Duracell battery that is able to produce a 1.14 milliamp charge, the possibilities for hemp based batteries seem endless.
The process of creating hemp batteries can also play a role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as the steam that forms as a byproduct of the process can be used to help power the plant in which these batteries are made. Another byproduct created by the process of pyrolysis is clean ethanol, subsequently reducing the cost of ethanol production. Turner and partners also plan to pair their systems with first ever carbon neutral blockchain, so that the carbon emissions of their processes may be tracked, from the soil, to transportation costs, all the way to the carbon cost of the facility. This allows the ability to track the carbon emission in order to ensure they maintain carbon neutrality.