Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Hemp Plant Biomass Energy Value Page 19
Biofuel Energy, January 2012-There’s a New Biofuel Crop in Town Work by Agricultural Research Service scientists in Florence, South Carolina, suggests that farmers in the Southeast could use the tropical legume sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) in their crop rotations by harvesting the fast-growing annual for biofuel. In 2004, when there was ample rainfall, the resulting sunn hemp biomass yield exceeded 4.5 tons per acre. This is equivalent to 82.4 gigajoules of energy per acre—close to the energy contained in 620 gallons of gasoline and well in the ballpark of other bioenergy crops, which have yields of anywhere from 30 to 150 gigajoules per acre. The higher heating value of sunn hemp biomass exceeded that of switchgrass, Bermudagrass, reed canarygrass, and alfalfa. And although reduced rainfall resulted in lower hemp biomass yields in 2006, sunn hemp’s higher heating value for both study years was 4 to 5 percent greater than that of cowpea.